Are you worried that your child doesn't like to read? Here are some tried and tested ways you can use to encourage your child to have a deep passion for the written word and develop a healthy connection and love for books.
Reading, it’s one of those things that our parents constantly nag us to do from an early age. Yet not every child takes to reading like a fish to water. I remember my own young self, a tiny tot of three, chucking the books my parents bought me aside for the more appealing Barbie dolls and My Little Pony toys, yet books have since become my best friend and I credit my parents for it.
There are many things that a parent can do to encourage their children not just to read but to have a deep passion for the written word. Here are some tried and tested tips that have become a standard in my home:
Read to your child
The first step to encourage children to read is to actually read to them. Don’t ever underestimate the power of reading to your children. I recommend that you start doing so from the moment your baby is born. Even though your child might not understand the words or story, your animated voice while reading will create great memories for your children. It’s also a great way for the little ones to pick up words and it could also possibly help set up a bedtime story routine that both parent and child will look forward to.
Books, books and more books!
Fill your child’s rooms with books of all genres and stories. This creates greater accessibility to books and might even make them view the books as friends and mates in their pursuit of adventure and knowledge.
Monkey see, monkey do
Remember that you are the best role model for your children, especially in their crucial developmental years. So if they see that their parents are great lovers of books and prefer curling up on the sofa with a novel in hand instead of an iPad, they too might follow suit. Your child is also more likely to pick up a book, especially if they notice how much their parents enjoy reading and the multitude of stories and adventures waiting to be discovered with every turn of a page.
Keep track of their reading and interests
As your children grow, you can start introducing them to books that match their hobbies and interests. You will be demonstrating to them how a great book has the ability to expand their knowledge and inspire them to even greater heights.
To the library we go
Introduce your children to the wonders of the library from an early age. I remember my dad bringing us to the library every Saturday morning and how he allowed us to roam the children’s section and choose two books to borrow for reading time at home. It was a great way to introduce us to the great variety of children’s books available as well as give us a sense of independence in choosing our own reading material. Trips to the library sometimes included ‘read-aloud sessions’ with volunteers, which always made storytime fun and interactive.
Check out this great video of a child singing about loving to read: