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5 Rules To Encourage Your Child To Read

Now, if you are an avid reader yourself, you probably know the secret. But, what if you are a parent who hates reading yourself..

There are many parents who do not read much themselves but wish to inculcate good reading habits in their children. And it’s a great thing. But, parents who do not read regularly probably need to put more conscious effort to encourage their children to read. In fact, in today’s busy life with too much digital content around, even the most avid readers are struggling to find time for the old-school book reading.

So this article aims to lay down the basic rules to nudge your child in the right direction:

Rule #1 : Reading is not a task. So don’t make it one.

One way to make sure that your child hates reading is to make it a scheduled tasks. Everyone hates tasks. So don’t make reading a task. ( even if it is one for you..) Also, don’t be unnecessarily pushy. That’s sure to backfire.

Rule #2: Start reading yourself.

Now, this is a tough one. But not as much as you think it is. You need not read day in and day out or read encyclopedias to get your child curious. But you are sure to find something interesting to read on a topic of your choice. It can be a cook-book, it can be a magazine or it can be a book related to your work. The important thing is to find something that interests you enough and read for just half an hour a week.

Just half an hour a week. How difficult is that?

The idea is to lead by example and to let your child know that it’s an interesting activity. All hobbies are contagious!

Rule #3: Buy books and more books.

The best way to get children interested in reading is to start early. Buy a lot of picture book, open the flap books, books that make a sound and what not. Gift books on their birthdays and special occasion. You can start as early as age one. Read to them loudly in animated voice and see how they look forward to reading time everyday. If you have missed the boat, that’s fine. There is plenty of time to catch up. For kids who can read on their own, rule #4 may come handy.

Rule #4: Visit the library regularly.

Libraries add great value because they create an environment of learning and reading. Modern day children libraries are a fun place for children and help create a positive association for reading in child’s mind. Another advantage is the affordability and keeping the “new”ness factor alive. The child can pick a book on her own and get a new one to try every week. Book clubs run by most libraries are also a great way to get the child meet with other children who love reading. However, keep in mind Rule #1 and do not push the child too much if they are not interested.

Rule #5 : There is no such thing as  bad reading. Any reading is good reading.

One mistake parents make, especially if their children are in teenage and selecting their own books, is the overemphasis on “good” books. There are no good books or bad books for children. Every book need not teach a life lesson. Some books are to be read only for fun. Some books are to be read to understand what bad books are.

Finally, discuss what your child is reading. Ask them their opinion on the book. Ask them what they like about the book and what they don’t. Let them make their own choices and form their own opinions. Isn’t that the whole point of reading?

So, happy reading and happy learning!

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