Guest contributor Loren Stacks has been freelancing for a couple of years. When he’s not hunched over his laptop in coffee houses he can be seen in obscure bookstores or lined up for a concert. He writes regularly for SecureYourTrademark.Com. In this guest post he provides insights on how to develop your kid’s reading habits.
Reading is a fundamental part to anyone’s life. Not only can it be an enjoyable pastime, but it is the main source from which children and adults grow and learn. As parents, we have the responsibility of giving our children as many tools as possible to make sure they grow to be the best individuals they can be. A love and desire to read should be one of those tools.
Training your child to develop a reading habit does not have to be as daunting as it may sound. There are many ways to get your child to learn the art of reading. One of the most important ways to do this is by starting as soon as possible. Begin reading to your child when they are an infant. They may not understand what you are saying, but by beginning early, you are setting a precedent and you are bonding with your child. Set some time aside each day to read to your infant or toddler. If you have trouble holding their attention, choose books with colorful pictures, read with silly voices and engage your child while reading, by asking them questions about the story or asking them to point things out in the pictures. By incorporating story time into the bedtime ritual your child will come to expect and love this time with you.
As your child grows and learns to read on their own, story time should evolve from you reading the story to your child to your child reading a favorite story to you. Choose short stories when they are just learning so they do not become easily frustrated. Letting your child pick out their favorite stories will guarantee their undivided attention.
As your child becomes a more confident reader, he or she may not want to read to you anymore, but they will still want your time. To keep your children engaged in books, suggest reading with your child. Pick a time of day where you and your child can sit side by side reading your own books quietly. Children generally look forward to having their parents’ undivided attention. By setting time aside each day to sit with your child and read, they not only have your time, but you are setting an example by showing them that you also enjoy reading.
Apart from reading with your child, there are many other ways to jumpstart your child’s reading habit. Allowing your child to choose their own books is one way to ensure they will enjoy what they are reading about. Talk to your child about what they would like to read about and make regular trips to the library, so that they can explore and find something that they will love. Help your child find a book about what interests them most, whether it be pandas, fairies or bugs. Make the habit of visiting bookstores during trips to the mall and encourage them to pick out something they want.
On trips, make sure they see you carrying books more than being in front of the computer. Children tend to take after their role models which are naturally their parents. Apart from this make sure that you have a conducive atmosphere for reading at home. Select a designated place where both you and your child can read which have comfy couches. Try playing classical music in the background.
If all else fails and your child still shows resistance, a rewards system can be beneficial. For example, every five books your child reads on their own will earn them a treat, whether it is an ice cream cone or a walk to the park. Eventually, your child will become accustomed to reading and it will become enjoyable.
Have any of these strategies worked for you? Are there other ways you’ve developed a reading habit in your child? Leave a comment and join in the conversation.