We live in a world where entertainment is everywhere. TV shows are only a click away, and mobile devices bring dozens of games to your fingertips. With so many stimulating outlets for fun, it is no wonder that parents find it difficult to encourage children to form good reading habits. Good reading habits are cultivated from a young age, but don’t worry if your child is already in school. There are many ways to encourage reading habits in your daily life.
Fill the House With Books
Surrounding your children with books from a young age will increase the chances of them appreciating books. If your child wishes to use electronic gadgets, you can install eBooks that you think your children will love. You’ll like the range of free books available for download.
Encourage Reading Everywhere
Don’t just limit yourself to books. Words are all around us. For example, at the back of the milk carton, advertisements, the synopsis of your child’s favourite television programme or get grandpa and grandma to write a letter every week. It shows your child that reading does not just mean thick, boring books.
Get Their Favourite Books
Allow your child to read the topics and genres that they love. Let them engross in fiction and find themselves in the middle of a mystery, or as the main protagonist in a pirate adventure. They may enjoy discovering more about animals in wildlife magazines or MARVEL at the action in comic books. Forcing a child to read something he doesn’t like will only kill the joy associated with reading.
Read Aloud to Your Child
Yes, even when your child can read. Seeing an adult read will encourage him to pick up a book for himself. If he does not know an adult he admires reading; he may not have the awareness that reading is vital.
Set Aside Time
Kids have busy schedules every day. Make reading a priority and slot it into your schedule. It emphasises the importance of reading. Reading at the same time every day will also encourage reading habits and become a routine activity.
Show You Are Interested
Have discussions about what your child has read. Knowing that mum and dad care about something that they have enjoyed or put the effort in will further encourage reading habits. It can also be an opportunity to articulate their thoughts and feelings about the story, where you can also share real-life events that parallel those in the book.
When all else fails, turn to good old positive reinforcement. Give your child rewards for reading, but not all the time! With time (and a little luck), your child may start reading out of habit and not for rewards.
It’s never too late to gain good reading habits! Making small changes in your daily life can help to encourage reading habits. Let us know the tips that worked for your little one!