The best way to instill a love for reading is to read to your child. Reading should begin early in life with habits established by parents who value books and encourage their children to read.
When babies are about three months old, they start to be aware of being read to and listen intently for new and different sounds. As babies grow along, this regular routine with books as their growing companion will teach them that reading is something to be enjoyed. This attitude and family culture will foster a love for reading through school and adulthood.
“My child doesn’t like to read…”
It is never too early to start reading to your child, and take comfort that it is also never too late to start reading to your child even if she has started reading independently.
Don’t be too stressed out by exclaiming, “My child doesn’t like to read” just yet. It is important to know that not every child likes to read. Give them time and continue to provide them with opportunities to read. Discover along the way, how and what you can do to motivate your child to read.
Children need to read books that are appropriate in terms of comprehension ability. Reluctant readers can become good readers with books that they ease into the story. Let them choose what they want to read even if they are just leafing through the book. If pleasure doesn’t drive reading, children don’t become readers.
How to motivate your child to read
Getting your child to be interested in books involves a few ideas to work around with. Here are some ways on how to motivate your child to read.
1. Establish a routine for reading each day. It could be a morning story before school or at bedtime. Reading is a habit that you can cultivate daily.
2. Apart from routine, read to your child as often as possible. Try not to reject reading or put away a book that she brings to you for reading.
3. Talk about pictures if your child is not interested in words. She will be more interested in words as she grows along.
4. Ensure that your child is able to reach out to books anytime of the day. Keeping book shelves at her eye level enables her to pull out a book anytime she feels like.
5. Allow your child to bring a book along when out and about. She can be leafing a book when waiting for food at a restaurant or waiting to see a doctor at the clinic.
6. Animate when reading a story. Even if your child seems uninterested in a book, she will be attracted by the enthusiasm and variation or your tones. If you need to, sing the words.
7. Children love repetition. Offer familiar titles if she is not ready for new books. Repetition reinforces memory and vocabulary.
8. Try different genres of books. If your child doesn’t enjoy fiction books, offer her non-fiction books, or books that are related to her hobby.
9. Libraries offer myriad opportunities for your child. Not only is there a wide genre of titles that can interest your child, catching a glimpse of other children reading can motivate your child to read.
10. Give your child time to read. When you over-schedule your child with too many activities and classes, she looks forward to play and rest instead of picking up a book.
These various ways on how to motivate your child to read; partnered with patience and perseverance, you can transform the reading situation with your child.
Harvesting is not an overnight process. Keep in mind too, in this fast moving and well-advanced society, parents should always be limiting screen time. There is no way screen time can win a battle over books. Screen time should be limited until a child’s reading habit is well-developed.
Above all, don’t push reading into a power struggle. The biggest win has to be how the child feels about reading. Always remember that reading should be made fun and enjoyable.