|If kids see their parents enjoy reading, they will gradually associate the hobby as a fun and normal activity that they should start doing themselves / Photo By LightField Studios|
It’s no secret that kids who read achieve better in school as it helps improve their concentration, promote analytical thinking, and develop their vocabulary. Reading skills benefit children not only academically but will also lead them to lifelong success. It will teach them the world around them and will also develop their empathy, among other benefits. How then do you cultivate a good reading habit in children?
Associate it with something kids enjoy doing
Anna Mussmann of American magazine The Federalist shares that the real obstacle parents face if they want their kids to be lifelong readers is to actually build that habit of reading. This is because it takes a lot of self-discipline and planning. Her technique to make the process easy is by associating books to children with something they already enjoy doing.
Another way to help your child cultivate good reading habit is by having them see you doing it and actually enjoying what you do. This is because children look for their parents for cues. So, if they see their parents enjoy reading, they will also gradually associate the hobby as a fun and normal activity that they should start doing themselves. Go the extra mile by talking to your children about the book that you are reading. Take some time telling them that you just finished reading a book and how you felt about the content. It is through these talks that children will think that reading books will bring them new information and they can discover ideas to also share with you.
Introduce them to good books
Good books will make every reader want to read more. While finding that book may be challenging from the start, finding good kiddie books is actually easy with the help of the internet. You can likewise visit a library together so you will know the kind of genre that your kid may enjoy reading on their own. Some kids like science fiction, others prefer comic books and mystery. Expose your child to various book genres and find what type they are most interested in.
Children love connection, especially if it comes from their parents. Reading is an activity that will help parents connect with their children and it gives kids a cozy or warm feeling being close to Dad or Mom while reading every night, for instance. Even if the child is a reluctant reader at the start, they are more willing to open the book if their parent is spending time with them doing it.
Make it a night-time routine
If possible, read books to your child each night, recommends UK supplementary education provider Kumon. Making reading as a part of their night routine will allow kids to associate reading with warmth and relaxation. You can agree in advance the number of stories you will be reading in one night so you can avoid the “just one more” request from your child. This is also a good opportunity to quietly and comfortably ask your child about their day or something they did during the day that made their day. Then, they will go to sleep feeling loved and positive.
|Making reading as a part of their night routine will allow kids to associate reading with warmth and relaxation / Photo by Yuganov Konstantin via Shutterstock|
Don’t pressure your child to read
In any circumstance, never pressure your child to read. Child Mind Institute, a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of kids struggling with learning and health disorders, shared in its site that the right “push” should be the kind that gets them out of their comfort zone and further out. This was supported by child and adolescent psychiatrist. Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, founder of the nonprofit organization. However, it is important to know how and when to push your child because everyone has a different personality. If you are meeting resistance, think again if what you are doing is for your kid’s best interest or just for yourself. Opt for gentle pressure instead. Pushing kids to read will lead them to associate the feeling of “something forced to do” instead of something they would really want to enjoy doing.
Make library visits fun
Make library visits a mini-adventure with your child, where they can meet new people or encounter new books. If your kid does not own a library card yet, you can get them one to also teach them about responsibility because they will feel a member of the community and the library card is their “rite of passage,” the HuffPost shares. Furthermore, encourage your child to check the books that they find interesting to make the visit more fun. There are other libraries as well that have fun events meant for children, including book signings, crafting, and story time. Take advantage of this for your child’s benefit as it can turn reading as a good social activity. Your local librarian may, moreover, recommend children’s books that you may not yet know.