Reading is not just a hobby or a school assignment, but it’s a lifestyle. It is a habit that grows on you and helps you develop and build your character. Your uniqueness comes from what you read and how you perceive it. It is known that reading raises a child’s IQ, teaches them commitment, and widens their imagination. Your role is to encourage them and instill in them the love of books but on their own terms.
Make Books Familiar
The first environment that a child gets exposed to is their home. They grow to love or hate what their parents approve of or condemn, whether in an obvious or in a subtle way. If they see books everywhere around them from a young age, they will become curious about their content. You can leave picture books within their reach to attract them.
You are your kid’s role model, and they will try to copy your every move. So, don’t read alone in your room- get out in the living room and hold a book. You can even read it out loud to yourself to grab the child’s attention. At some point, your little one will come running to you carrying a book and asking you to read to them.
Nowadays, almost all two-year-old kids are carrying a phone, and they know how to operate it. They don’t even know how to read or write, but they definitely can play online games. It is devastating that they don’t get to enjoy their childhood anymore. You can stop that by not playing on your phone all day in front of them and limiting how much time they should get exposed to any form of technology.
Develop a Reading Ritual
At first, your little one may try to run around and throw away the book because they may find it to be boring. You should make reading fun and enjoyable. So, dedicate two hours per day to teach them how to read and then tell them a story. You don’t have to use reading cards because it seems forced to the child and repulse them from the whole idea.
Moreover, kids love forts and have their own space, so you can set up a tent with lights and get everyone inside. Those two hours will improve your family bond and make your kid grow into a book lover as well. If there are older kids, you can let them take turns and read a couple of pages to let everyone feel involved.
Some parents stop telling bedtime stories once their child learns how to read. That shouldn’t be the case, because the whole purpose is to make them love reading so they can be more ethical, compassionate, and open-minded. You should keep reading to them whatever they request, and you can add more stories to their collection.
A nice hack is to let them stay up past their bedtime to read. It will make reading feel like a treat and that it is something they can break the rules for. However, don’t make a habit out of it because it will lose its glory if it becomes the new normal.
Visit the Library
Bookstores and libraries that have beautiful shelves are a site of attraction. Take them on little adventures to hunt down books. You can sit there and read together or take the book home to add it to the collection. It is important to let them pick novels based on their own taste because you don’t want to drive them away by your need to make them become like you. Your role is to direct them and keep them away from books above their reading or age levels.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
After a while, you will notice that your kid is requesting books that were recommended to them. On their birthday or when they do well in school or a sport, buy them one of the books they want. A book should be one of the things that your kid looks forward to having because the feeling of happiness isn’t limited to the first time they get it, but it resurfaces every time they read it.
Books are little pieces of heaven that no one gets to taste except those who love to read. To be honest, watching an animated movie or playing a game takes less effort than trying to understand words. It’s your job to make the latter more amusing by following simple tips and controlling your relationship with your phone. You will notice your kid’s eyes shimmering when they look at various book covers, and that’s the moment that you’ll know that you’re on the right track.