• Allan Shedlin

Read With Your Kids to Open Their Minds...and Yours

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Daddying's 2nd Annual Books To Read With Your Kids

Holiday Gift Guide & Book Giveaway!

By Scott Beller

Daddying Editor

Introducing my daughters to new ideas, activities, and life experiences has always been one of my most important jobs as a dad.

Basically, as a parent, I see it as my responsibility to help my kids understand the world around them – beautiful, exciting, messy, and dangerous as it may be. As they get older and become more independent, I want them to be able to make good decisions and navigate their lives safely and with open minds. And just as important, I want them to empathize with how other people experience that same world and, if needed and appropriate, to offer a helping hand.

Like everything else about being a parent, that last part – the putting yourself in other peoples' shoes part – isn't always easy.

Luckily, we parents have some excellent tools at our disposal for exposing our kids to different cultures and ideas and making it a little bit easier for our kids to be open to and ponder new points of view: travel and books. And when for whatever reason we aren’t able to provide the former, books and reading are the next best things to being there.

Since my girls were in preschool, we’ve been lucky to have the means to take them on trips around the U.S. and, more recently, outside of it. But before they were old enough to broaden their perspectives this way, to understand much of what the world and its diverse inhabitants might throw at them, the books we read to them daily were easily-accessible passports to anywhere else they could (and couldn't) imagine.

Sure, books exist to entertain and even distract our little ones. But they also serve to inform, inspire, socialize, challenge what kids think they already know, stoke curiosity, and ignite their imaginations.