Reading….the one thing that all parents want their children to do, especially in this hyper-connected world where technology is an undeniable aspect of our lives, as well as those of our children. Resorting to the good old book may not come instinctively to most children, and even when it does, it always helps to have a few tips on how to enhance the experience.
1. Routine Matters
This is a no-brainer. A regular time and place for reading always establishes the habit and encourages it! For me, the bedtime reading ritual with my son works well. We have a deal- he reads a story to me, I read a chapter from a book to him, and then we both have a ‘private’ reading time where we are next to each other but reading independently. On weekends, in addition to the bedtime reading, we have an afternoon reading session as well.
2. Seeing and talking ‘reading’
It is inspiring and essential for the child to see other children as well as other adults read. Do you read together as a family? Does your child have opportunities to watch you and other family members read? Does he watch other friends read? Can you have children over who discuss books? Maybe, they can exchange books or do a little book-related activity for a playdate. Do you talk about what you or your child or someone else is reading? Do you discuss and recall books in regular conversations?
3. Don’t control the buying process
Unfortunately, parents still control the buying process when it comes to books. Do you directly or indirectly influence your child, or restrict him for certain books based on your own biases? We have all rolled our eyes at our kids in bookshops, (one more Horrid Henry…can’t he choose anything else?) at some point or the other. If you want your child to be a passionate reader, give him an element of choice!
4. Frequent Book Havens
Today, many independent bookshops and libraries are doing fantastic work in terms of holding book reading sessions, author meets and other events entering around books. There are several book festivals and exhibitions that take place and it is worth attending those. Take advantage of these and introduce your child to the world of books in a different way. Most bookshops today are designed beautifully with cafes and reading areas, that makes these great spots to visit on a weekend or on free evenings!
5. The big “E”
The E-format….books on kindle…..books on Apps….what should we do? I believe that a story is a story. Let your child appreciate a good story anywhere!
6. Book Nook
Not all of us have excess space in the house. But, to the best of your ability, do try to create a book nook where your child can display his books or store them. It would be great to have a nice arm chair or bean bag there! Make the area as attractive as you can!
Get reading today!