Tips To Get Your Children To Read

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Being in the profession that I am and always being surrounded by books – either for pleasure reading or for work, I’ve been approached by many parents who wanted me to introduce their children to reading. Some of these children were toddlers while some quite grown up and with busy lives, at 12 or 13. Honestly, someone who doesn’t spend time with them cannot really sell the concept of reading for pleasure to your children. People who read are perceived to be boring and uninteresting by most of those who don’t. And a child who doesn’t read would not be interested in hearing about the benefits of reading, from someone he is not used to taking instructions from. So here are a few suggestions from me, which you can try yourself, and you should be able to open the beautiful world of reading to your children!

  • First, you develop a relationship with reading. Your child is bound to follow the example you set. In households where at least one parent reads regularly, the children are known to follow suit. This happens mainly because of the example you set and also, because you are in the position to suggest and bring to them, titles they would enjoy to read. Let them see you reading; it’s okay if you are reading just a magazine.

  • If you child is a newborn, start reading together. Pick up age appropriate books, show them the pictures and you read the story. Don’t let their inability to understand bother you, with repeated and continuous storytelling, they will grow up with the habit of loving stories. Also, bedtime stories being read by parents make up for some of the fondest childhood memories when the children grow up.

  • Give your child a reading space. Maybe a corner of their room or any other room, where a shelf has their storybooks stacked together. A place where they can sit comfortably in proper lighting and read. Make reading an interesting experience.

  • Visit local book stores with them. What would be even better if you get a library membership together and make trips to the library frequently. Let your child spend time with books.

  • A child who reads cannot also watch a lot of television. Two reasons – doing both would harm eyes, and doing both would take up a lot of time. Soon, the child will be cutting reading time and spending more time in front of the televsion. If you want your child to read, play and do activites, the tab needs to go too. Maybe once a week to play games in, that is your decision.

  • If you are already a reader, pick your own childhood favourites and read with your child. Tell them stories about how you perceived the story, and ask they what they think it. Make it a fun activity. Perceptions will be different, there is an entire generation between your child and you. Exchange notes.

  • Having said that, please don’t force your child to read. The most you can do is, encourage them. But if your child is completely outdoorsy, there are strong chances that you cannot force them to stay indoors and read. It’s okay.

These were few suggestions of things you can do; they are not sure shot ways. Many schools have lately introduced reading periods, but those are only for junior classes. When the kids grow and are in senior classes, they get busy and move away from reading for pleasure. Don’t let that vaccum form. I am always open for dicsussion on further ideating about how to spread the love for books. Get in touch if you think I can help. Lastly, let your child choose the book. It is okay if one doesn’t like fiction, let them read about volcanoes or about cars. To read is what we want them to do, right?

Disclaimer: No, every child doesn’t need to read. This post is particularly for parents who want to try to get their children to read. Try, but don’t force, dear parents. 🙂

 

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