Getting kids to read

Reading is a great habit for your children as it improves their vocabulary, communication skills, focus and memory. Unfortunately, most parents struggle to inculcate a reading habit in their children. I can completely understand your dilemma as a parent. I have been an avid reader since childhood but my daughter didn’t show much interest until a few years ago. I am sharing a few tips that helped me to raise a young reader at my home.

Find Out the Reason They Don’t Want to Read

Talk to your child to understand why they dislike reading. Don’t they like the storyline, format or characters? Do they find reading boring? Their answers will help you to figure out the reason and work on it accordingly.

Take Them to the Bookstore or Library

These days, bookstore and library visits are a rarity as books are available online at discounted rates. However, it would be a good idea to take your children to a bookstore or a library and let them handpick the books. Show them how they can read the blurb of the book on the inside cover or back of the book or flip through it to get a tentative idea of the storyline. This will spark interest in your children and they will feel a sense of responsibility to read the book.

Read Them Aloud

If your children are too young to read by themselves, read them the book aloud. Try to make the story more interesting with your expressions, voice and gestures. Even if your children request you to read the same book aloud multiple times, do not refuse.

Find a Reading Buddy

Reading alone can be unexciting for children. Find them a buddy who can spend some time with them reading. They can even exchange books with each other and discuss the story. If you can’t find someone, then enrol them in a book club. This will keep your children looking forward to reading.

Try New Genres

Sometimes, the issue is not about a lack of interest in reading. It could be that they didn’t like the genre of the book they were reading. So, try to introduce your children to different genres such as thriller, mystery, science fiction, fantasy adventures, etc. You can even give them a non-fiction book and see if they like it.

Promise to Watch Movies Based on Books

The Jungle Book, Harry Potter series, Jumanji, Alice in Wonderland, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid – there are so many children’s books which have been adopted into movies. Tell your children that they can watch their favourite characters come alive on the big screen after they finish the book!

Be a Role Model

My daughter would always see me reading a book before bedtime or during travels. It didn’t take her long to imbibe this habit out of curiosity.

Lastly, don’t force your child to read. At times, it’s just not the right age for them to find reading interesting. Sometimes, they might pick up a book only to leave midway. Be patient and consistent, and keep trying the tips mentioned above on and off.

About Smita Omar

Smita is an ex banker who voluntary said adiós to a high flying career to explore the rocky yet beautiful terrain of motherhood. When she is not busy juggling between her naughty daughter and foodie husband, you can find her donning the hat of a freelance content developer-editor to keep her sanity intact. She has been a Work-From-Home-Mother for 8 years and turns to meditation when the going gets tough.

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