How to Develop a Child’s Love of Reading
By Carean Oh
Be a strong role model. Read everything around you- signs, recipes, books for pleasure, newspaper articles etc with your child. If a parent loves to read, the child will grow to emulate these positive habits. It takes time… and plenty of role-modelling.
Our actions are often more important than our words. As parents, we are busy. This is one fact that we cannot deny. In the midst of our busyness, we find turning to newsfeeds on social media as a more important avenue of sourcing for information, albeit on the quick information highway, as a more efficient way of being updated. How often has life slowed down enough for us to truly read and appreciate the nuances of writing created by a worthy author? And if we don’t, are we the best role models for our children?
Reading is a very important habit for anyone, more so important for young parents who aspire to be role models for their children. By doing so, we encourage our children to desire reading. There is no place more intimate than the study that depicts our interests and tell our personalities. To the growing child, the study should be seen as a sacred place, a place where Daddy and Mummy’s culmination of knowledge is displayed.
Create a place at home where your children and you share a communal love – the love of reading. The study should consist of a special corner for your child, to read alongside you. This gives you the opportunity to create a common timing where you and your child can read together. This serves two purpose: the companionship for a reading session and allows you to create a shared love of what matters to you both.
The benefits of reading cannot be undermined. Unfortunately, many parents throw in the towel and start thinking up excuses for the child, so long as the child rejects a book. You are not afraid of a reluctant child, are you? Instead of imposing your rules on the child, ask yourself what might interest them? A good way of getting a child to read is to pick up a series. Cam Jansen, Encyclopedia Brown, The Boxcar Children and A Series of Unfortunate Events are beautiful series that grip many young readers alike and they hook a child to not only the series but also the genre that have encouraged them to pick up similar titles after the series is completed.
Developing a child’s love of reading is not a hard thing to do. However, it takes a nurturing environment to create the conduciveness for reading. Reading is a very personal activity. The reader interacts with the writer in ways that resembles a connection. This connection is silent and unique. It requires us to cultivate habits, create the right ambience and be there for a post-book talk to wash down any doubts, partake in a discussion of any sentiments of the characters, and finally, empathize with our afterthoughts about the plot.