Encourage Your Kids to Enjoy Reading
To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. — Victor Hugo
Books are the gateways to other universes, and they are a perfect way for the children to get to know and understand this world. Not to mention that reading itself enhances intelligence and educational potential. But is the love for reading something we are born with, or something we acquire in time? It rarely happens that books are kid’s “love at first sight”, it is rather a relationship that develops and grows with emotional investments. So, help your children nourish that beautiful relationship and enjoy every page they turn.
“Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Air, Goodnight Noises Everywhere”
We cannot stress enough how important is to read bedtime stories to children. It is useful to create a child-parent bond, but it also builds vocabulary and teaches the correct word pronunciation. It is the first spark of love for reading in a child, so you shouldn’t ignore it. It is also useful to read to your kids at any time of the day.
Be Their Role Model
Children adore to mimic the actions of adults, and as funny it may seem in the beginning, soon we can see how that specific behavior can become a habit of their own. So, show them how reading is great by doing so. Go to the library or the bookstore, take them with you sometimes, and make it a habit to read in the afternoon or in the evening so that they can see you.
What, Who, Where, Why…
Asking questions when reading to your kids is extremely important. This way you can help them comprehend what you are reading and interact with the book and its characters better. When they’re old enough to read themselves, ask them to tell you what was the book or the chapter about and how do they feel about some characters and events.
Surround Them with Books
Kids learn by playing and exploring the world around them. If you make that surrounding book-friendly you will see how soon they will grow accustomed to it, and even love it. Their room is the perfect place to start. Make them a reading nook that sparks the imagination, filled with book shelves, character posters, quotes from books, etc. Add some cozy cushions and soft shaggy rug to make it even more appealing to them.
Let Them Make Decisions
Speaking in general, children love to feel like they have the full control over something, and when they see they have some power in this matter they will love it even more. This can also be a true boost of self-confidence for them. Sure, there are age-inappropriate books which shouldn’t be taken lightly, but you can solve that problem by limiting their options on a couple of books you consider to be good.
Encourage Reading Activities
Books are great, but reading is so much more than that; it is an essential part of one’s life. Encourage your kids to read road signs, weather reports, song lyrics, comic books, menus, movie titles, and other practical everyday information.
Technology as Your Ally
Adults often think of technology as books’ worst enemy in the fight for the children’s love. Although it is often that way, it doesn’t have to be if you introduce it into kids’ life with proper guidance. There are various apps that can improve kids’ reading skills and some that are based on kids’ favorite books. Of course, you have to pay close attention to the apps and content they’re accessing, and how much time they’re devoting to a specific activity. Although nothing beats paper in the screen vs. paper game, sometimes a child can benefit from e-reader’s adjustability.
In the end, it is worth to mention that you’ll probably invest the most effort in your firstborn, which will set the foundations for other kids. Not only will you know better the next time, but also your first child will be able to show a good example to their brothers and sisters.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”