Raising a religious reader, isn’t that on every parents wish list? In today’s world, technology has been ingrained in our lives. Most parents want their children to enjoy the joy of reading books, instead of drowning themselves in the virtual world of endless browsing. To be honest, books take us on a journey to a different world. Most books are fiction yet we want our children to experience the other hidden world behind those black alphabets filled with deep knowledge and understanding about life.
Some critics would say that there are multiple other ways to gain knowledge and experience life, like motion pictures, educational videos, movies, ebooks, etc. I believe, the main difference between learning from a visual medium and reading is that in visual medium most of the contents are already available to us, leaving the kids with very little room for imagination; but on the other hand through actually reading books imagination can be limitless. The beauty of imagination can’t be described in words, it surely builds the creative side of your kids ; if the reading routine is started early on in your child’s life.
Being an avid reader, I would like my children to have this wonderful reading habit. I am happy to say proudly, that I have successfully achieved the goal. My 2 year old kiddo love books every bit as much as I do.
Every evening we both sit together for some Storytime session and I read to him his favorite books. I am just in love with the way his imagination creates little stories and characters because of this routine.
So, how does it happen? How does one inculcate reading habit into their children? These are few ways, which helped me set a reading routine for my little one. Hope this helps you too.
1. BE AN INSPIRATION FOR YOUR CHILDREN
Kids love to learn from their parents, they love to imitate every bit of what they see through the day. So, if for some reason you have let reading slide through the margins of your life, now is the time to bring the habit back. Make space and time to read books and when your child sees you do that, the possibility of sharing the same interest is much higher. Sit with your favorite book and let your child choose theirs. Even if they can’t read, flipping through a pictorial book is a great start. So, be the person you want your child to become in the future and this will automatically trigger the importance of reading into your children.
2. START READING EARLY TO YOUR CHILD
I started reading to my child very early on, around when she was 5-6 months old. To start with, I show them books with large pictures such as flowers, cars, animals, people, etc. and speak about the pictures in detail and maybe sing a song while explaining about the characters or things.
3. CHOOSE FUNNY & HUMOR FILLED BOOKS
Yes, this works!! Kids love humor and with just a slightest shadow of it, they will laugh out loud. Kids loose there concentration very easily, but funny and witty books hold their interest and concentration level for a longer duration.Try it out with your kid. Try to be the best comedian you can, while reading a story.
4. SHOWER YOUR CHILD WITH BOOKS
Gift books to your child on their birthday with a message explaining the importance of reading. I read this concept of “gifting a book to your child” in a book called“How to Raise a Reader”- by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo and I loved the idea so much that I have implemented in my life by gifting my child a book on her birthday every year. The personal note on the book makes it more exciting for children and they actually keep waiting for the gift to read and learn something new. One day my daughter asked me, “Mom why don’t you give me a book on every occasion?” I was stunned to see her excitement with books and so now I have started to gift her a book on every possible festivals. When her friends come over for play dates, I give them books and ask them to sit down and read and have discussion on each character of the book.
We all love our children and hence we shower them with gifts and many unwanted materialistic things, which does not have much impact on a child’s life. Instead of giving them loads of toys, shower them with piles of book and only then your child will learn to be a reader.
Hope your little one becomes Shakespeare one day and rocks the world with the immense amount of knowledge & creativity 😊. Give your children the gift of knowledge and let their imagination soar.
Happy Reading 🙂