You already love reading and devour books daily, yet your child remains apathetic, choosing to play video games or watch television instead. This is perfectly normal when you consider the surplus of distractions competing for your child’s reading time.
You already love reading and devour books daily, yet your child remains apathetic, choosing to play video games or watch television instead. This is perfectly normal when you consider the surplus of distractions competing for your child’s reading time. So how do you instill your love of reading in your child? This is a dilemma most parents are bound to face at some point in time.
Reading offers many benefits, from encouraging imagination to relieving stress. In fact, those who read books frequently experience improved vocabularies, enhanced memory and even healthier self-esteem. All of these benefits can go a long way in positively impacting your child’s life.
So, back to the original dilemma: How do you encourage your child to enjoy reading? Here are six tips that should help in doing just that.
Your child is much more likely to enjoy reading if you start reading to them at a young age. It’s never too early to start reading. Even in their infancy, they will benefit from being read to. Infants learn speech patterns — rather than actual words — and communications skills from their experiences. By reading to them early, you are providing more opportunities to develop beginning communication skills. Besides, they’ll love the attention, and you’ll provide additional bonding time.
Set the example
If your children see you reading in your spare time, they are more likely to read themselves. Talk about the books you are reading and what makes them interesting.
This goes back to the bonding time between children and parents. Children yearn for more time with their parents. If they understand that they get more mom or dad time through reading they will develop a fondness for it that becomes a powerful motivational tool.
Help your child choose books that they are interested in and can relate to
Reading should be a chosen not forced. Let their interest be the guide. If your child is a 12 year-old boy he’s not likely interested in books full of princesses and ponies. Instead, provide him a variety of reading material on subjects he expresses interest in. Even better, help him choose books that contain characters near his same age.
Some children are motivated by achievement; others are motivated by a reward for the achievement. Create a visual chart with which your child can track their reading accomplishments: Make sure there is a clear goal at the end (number of books, pages, or minutes). Once they reach their goal, celebrate their accomplishment with something special.
Dedicate a specific amount of time for your child to read each day. After a few weeks of reading consistently, it will become a habit.
With a bit of luck and persistence, your child will discover the joy that comes from reading and value it throughout their life—eventually receiving the many benefits that come with being a habitual reader.