Reading is supremely undervalued these days, but the truth is there's no way to measure how beneficial reading can be to a child's development.
The Standard recently published an article discussing the importance of parents reading to their young babies, and have made a fairly convincing case.
The most shocking aspect of the article is: "The Department of Health and University of Hong Kong also recently revealed that less than half - 46 percent - of children aged under 14 in the SAR have had either parent read with them."
What are you and your child reading together?The importance of reading, not in the form of school textbooks, but as a family activity since birth, cannot be over-emphasized.
Research has found the single most important predictor of future intelligence, school success and social skills is the number of words babies hear each day in the first few years of their life.
Psychologist Percie Wong So-ying emphasizes that a child's brain is 90 percent developed before the age of four.
So parents should make the best use of this golden period to stimulate the child's senses - of smell, hearing, touch, taste and seeing - so a connection or path is made in the child's brain.
Repeated actions can strengthen this connection. Therefore, if children have been read to daily from birth, they will have a vocabulary of 10,000 to 20,000 words by the time they reach Primary One.
If not, they will know fewer than 3,000 words since we use only about 1,000 basic words in everyday expression, Wong said.
The child will also be able to learn rare words, ones that are not used on a regular basis, through reading aloud by the parent every day. The benefit for a child is a huge headstart before joining school, Wong noted.
Once upon a time - The Standard