Few years ago, reading was one of the most popular activities that made the leisure time fun, productive and entertaining for the readers. Since reading was a very popular hobby, the children were encouraged to pursue it right from their childhood. Parents motivated them to utilise their spare time by reading comics, story books, children’s magazines etc., which inculcated in them the habit of reading. However, with the advent of technologically advanced gadgets, reading habit in children took a back seat. Children started are engaging themselves into their newly found hobbies i.e. playing computer games, surfing the Internet etc. As a result, the habit of reading books other than textbooks started vanishing slowly and today, children have become tech savvy and are interested in exploring the latest gadgets and gizmos rather than reading books. So, it becomes important for parents to promote reading in the children and keep the habit alive in them throughout the lifetime.
As a parent, you need to provide your child with a bright exposure to the world of books. Also, you need to inculcate in your child the habit of reading right from her early childhood, since the things that she learns at her young age will stay in her mind forever. Here are some useful tips that will help you inculcate reading habit in your child effectively.
Tell your child about the importance of reading – Sit with your child and discuss with her about why she should inculcate the habit of reading in her lifestyle. Tell her that apart from textbooks, it is important for her to read good books, as the reading habit will contribute to her psychological & cognitive development and also help her in achieving academic success. Further, assure your child that she will be benefitted from the habit of reading books for the lifetime because it will increase her general awareness and IQ, which will ultimately make her knowledgeable & a well-learned individual.
Show your interest in reading – Demonstrate your enthusiasm for reading because if your child sees you reading, she will surely love to try it herself. Also, enrich your child’s knowledge by sharing age-appropriate information with her, from the books & magazines that you have read. With your appreciation and motivation, your child will be able to develop the habit of reading.
Create an environment for reading at home – Provide a stimulating reading environment at home, so that your child finds it interesting to develop the habit of reading. For this, make a mini library at your home, consisting of books and magazines that are appropriate for her age and level of development. Arrange the books neatly in book shelves, so that the mini library looks attractive and grabs instant attention of your child, every time she passes by the area. Also, make sure that your child finds the reading material within her easy reach. For this, place her books in the lower shelves of the library.
Incorporate reading into her daily routine – Prepare a study routine for your child in such a way that she finds enough time for reading non-academic reading material such as story books, newspapers and magazines etc. Encourage your child to read a few pages of story books every day, after finishing homework and before going to bed. This activity will not only increase her reading skills but also introduce her to new words & phrases, which in turn will enhance her vocabulary.
Provide her with a variety of reading material – Encourage your child to read different materials like road signs, game instructions, movie time schedules, restaurant menus, newspapers and every other practical information that she sees in her everyday life. Motivate your child to discuss with you about what she reads. This will not only reinforce the reading habit in her, but also make her enthusiastic to acquire knowledge at every step of her life, through reading.
Gift her books of her own choice – Present your child with story books of her choice. You may take your child to the nearest book stall and let her choose the books that she wants to read. To find the best books that you can present your child, you may also consult your friends or browse through the Internet to know out the latest bestselling books in children’s category that are available in the market.
Do fun activities for reading at home – Plan a 15 to 30 minute family reading time activity during the weekends. Involve all the members of your family in the activity. Provide them with reading material such as newspapers, magazines, story books etc. You may either ask the family members to read to each other or have every one sit together in a room & read silently.
Be enthusiastic about her reading – Ask your child to read back to you, to show your enthusiasm for her reading habit. This will increase her reading comprehension, make her feel excited about the books she reads and also enable her to narrate stories and descriptions with clarity of thought and confidence. Further, give her positive feedback & correct her mistakes softly. This will bring in her clarity of words and also help her in proper framing of thoughts.
Track your child’s progress on reading books – Track your child’s reading progress by maintaining a reading log. You may also instruct her to prepare a reading log in her notebook, where she can make a note of what stories/poems/novels she has read during the week. The reading log may consist of three columns each for the name of the book/poem, its author/poet and the rating by your child (on a scale of 10).
In the end, remember that you as a parent play a major role in promoting reading habit in your child and influencing her choice of books & other reading material. So, set yourself as an example for your child whom she can look up to, at all times. Always read good books which you can demonstrate to your child and also talk about the subject to her. Your positive influence upon your child will help her to explore the benefits of reading books and also incorporate this good habit as an inherent part of her lifestyle.