Some parents worry that their children are not reading enough. Teaching a love for reading starts young, and it does take some time and effort.
The benefits are many, including the bonding between parents and children during the time spent together and starting a good habit they will enjoy for the rest of their lives.
Make time for reading
There are only 24 hours in a day and between going to school, eating and playing with friends the children’s schedules can get jam-packed.
It is the parents’ role to dedicate a specific time for their children to sit down and read a book.
It does not have to be a long time, even half an hour would suffice. If a child reads for 30 minutes a day, it will become a habit and the child would want to read every day.
Who doesn’t love a bedtime story?
If a child is just starting to learn to read, a great way to help them and instil the reading habit is to read out loud to them, at bedtime, for example. Who doesn’t love a good bedtime story?
American author Dr Nancy Carlsson-Paige was quoted as saying that “reading aloud is both educational and social, so there are layers of value there”.
Apart from gaining a lifelong love for reading, a special bond is being created with the child.
Book genres are endless
There are many book genres to choose from, including adventure, horror, comedy, drama and fairy tales. A different genre could be introduced every day.
It might get boring to read a fairy tale every night before bed. Observe what types of books the child is interested in and buy them. A child would likely enjoy reading more if it is something they like.
Exhibit a love of reading
What the parents do, the children will often follow – from the way the parents talk to the way they walk – no matter if it is a good habit or a bad one.
Children look up to their parents as role models. If the children see that the parents do not often read books, they will not be interested either.
So, parents who want their children to read must pick up a book themselves.
Visit the library
Rather than going to the mall on weekends, go to a bookstore or a library. Yes, libraries and bookstores still exist.
This is a chance to let the children hold a real book in their hands rather than a tablet.
Libraries contain books for all ages and often organise story time, when volunteers come and read to the children, which is good fun for them.
A cozy corner
The dining table is the place to eat, the bedroom is the place to rest after a long day and the TV room is where the family sits down to watch television.
So, it makes sense to have a special place to sit down and read a book. It does not have to be a whole room, a cosy corner would do.
A comfy chair with a reading lamp is all that are needed – and it would encourage the children to sit down and open a good book.
Read the book and then watch the film
There are hundreds of books that have been made into movies. One of the most famous is the Harry Potter series. Other examples include Alice in Wonderland and the Dr. Seuss books.
As a way to encourage children to read, watch the film together with the whole family. The characters the children have been imagining will come to life on the screen, which is exciting and will motivate them to read more.
These are easy and pleasant things parents can do with their children to foster a love of reading that will benefit them throughout their lives. Remember, it’s never too late to start reading.
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