London – United Kingdom
Whenever the opportunity arises, put a spiritist book in the hands of a child, according to their age or maturity, showing the treasure of reading, and helping him or her to feel the love for creativity that a book brings. This is our major role as spiritists, parents, educators, and caregivers who love life.
The magic of reading becomes learning, dialogue, creativity, safety, increasing the vocabulary of knowledge in this beautiful chest of the history of consciousness.
When we put a book in the hands of a child or young person, like a ritual, showing the importance of this treasure that is opening, it becomes his or her own achievement, bringing to the mind the journeys that the stories provide.
This child or youngster will learn how to dialogue, tell stories, talk about himself, interact, listen, and mentally create space for the imagination to register what is hidden in his mind.
Recently, I found a comment online that helps us understand more about the relationship book-reading-child-youth, which I would like to share, “Contact with books, the act of smelling, feeling the textures, and interacting with stories aids in the psychomotor, cognitive, and intellectual development of children.” (1)
Interestingly, I have observed in many people the habit of smelling books. I believe that this will develop areas of the brain, linking the smell with reading to the story, and with the content of the book. Hence the importance of attractive books for children with covers that encourage them to open and read, wanting to take them home, sit down and dive into the stories, and tell their mom, dad, friend, grandpa, and others, what they are reading, thus motivating the improvement of writing in schools, in the classroom, and with school assignments.
Reading also contributes to improving vocabulary, speech, and school performance, bringing several benefits to children.
I have been writing books for children for a long time, and I am absolutely certain that children’s spiritist books have played a vital role in Spiritist literature and in the education of youth and children in our spiritist homes, or in the centers that offer Spiritist Education for Children and Youth.
From an early age, parents should take advantage of the God-given opportunity of being biological parents or parents at heart and create the habit of healthy reading in their children’s routine. Parents should take an interest in the contents, help in the choice of books, take their children to the library once a month, or to a good bookstore, or lookup free books like the ones I offer online, that can be downloaded as PDF’s on their tablets, and which is so common today in many families.
The mind/brain of the child and young person is like a dynamo that is constantly moving, open to creation, filling the spaces, and if we do not pay attention soon enough, our children will be flying away, imagining what life is about based on what they learn from their friends on the internet, media, or youtube.
We also consider the disturbance that spiritual obsession can bring about in children’s minds and in young people who, without the support and the good education at home, it can fill their unbridled imagination with negativity and conducts that lead to moral, spiritual, physical suffering, and even drugs.
Understanding the importance of books and reading in early childhood education is essential, not only for educators and educational centers but also for parents and guardians, who should also be aware of the benefits gained from the practice of reading.
Thus, the benefits of literature in the lives of our children, teenagers, students, grandchildren, nephews, and nieces are countless. I have met aunts and uncles who are better fathers and mothers to their nephews and nieces, because of their educational interests, than the parents themselves, who neglect their children’s education, spending more time on their electronic devices than the precious time next to their children. I could mention a few of them, but each parent should be a role model at home, knowing his/her family’s weaknesses and potentials.
Some benefits of reading children and youth’s literature in their development:
1 – Parents become examples of attention by creating the habit of dialogue.
2 – The family is united and talks about the reading, generating unforgettable moments for everyone.
3 – It helps children to develop creativity, imagination, and writing.
4 – General knowledge comes from books, and it is like traveling around the planet.
5 – It helps in changing and improving ethical and moral behavior.
6 – It helps the child with resilience, interaction, and detachment from material things.
7 – It helps the child and youth to value life when parents take advantage of reading to make a connection to spiritual education.
8 – Children’s literature has helped adults as well. As they read the books, they can see the gaps in their childhood.
9 – Books with good Spiritist-educational content help educators in their planning of modern interactive classes.
10 – Spiritist books can set you free.
A piece of friendly advice from the heart of a writer, educator, and grandmother of eight grandchildren, to our readers, parents, and spiritist educators:
“Encourage reading as much as possible. Let them choose the books.”
If the choice of the book is not appropriate, talk it over, exchange ideas, give your justification, and offer other titles based on the age and maturity of the child. Age does not always mean that children are in the best condition to understand what they read, but parents and educators should be the drivers of this process.
Encourage your loved ones to read books, a hard copy or virtual, but read so they can talk in a pleasant and interactive way about what they read and liked. Don’t force them to read what they don’t like or they won’t retain the content, making it an unpleasant experience. Encourage them by promoting moments of relaxation and pleasure.
Reading brings joy, a healthy mind, and contributes to a more loving and understanding adult towards life.
(1) Revista Desenvolvimento Intelectual – Volume 6
Elsa Rossi is a graduate in Fine Arts and writer with several published books of short stories and poems. She is the current president of BUSS – British Union of Spiritist Societies.
Translated by Bernadete F. Leal