Education experts agree that reading makes your child knowledgeable, improves their test scores, and also develops their imagination. Besides, reading is also calming and can be a great form of entertainment.
But despite the numerous benefits of reading, getting your little one to devour books can be an uphill task. Most children associate reading with work, while others find it plain boring.
So, what can you do to motivate your child to read more, not only out of coercion but also because they find reading fun?
Well, below are a few tips that you can use to help your child develop a lasting love for books.
1. Make Reading Fun
Some kids don’t love reading because it isn’t interesting. If you choose to read materials that don’t motivate or excite your child, they will most likely associate books with boredom.
Think about your child’s interests. Does your daughter love gardening, or is your son a fan of soccer? By choosing books that pique your little one’s interest, you’ll be motivating them to read more.
You should also ensure that the reading material is in line with your child’s reading ability. An interesting book that is hard to read may demotivate your little one.
2. Start Reading Early Enough
Start encouraging your kid to develop a love for reading from a young age. Experts recommend that you start reading to your baby as early as four months. When you read with your toddler, they begin developing a love for language. Reading with them will also help you identify if they have difficulty speaking or undergoing communication disorders, especially in their first 1-2 years. Bringing them to speech therapy for toddlers is the best option to avoid more complications in the future.
Buy a variety of books and find time to cozy up and read together with your baby. If you have a tablet or a laptop at home, use them to promote a love for reading in your child. Download books from sites such as Amazon or get a reading app that can make reading fun for the two of you. Picture books are also excellent, especially for toddlers or reluctant readers.
3. Buddy Reading Works
Reading to your child keeps them interested in books. Even when your child can read independently, it’s essential to continue reading aloud to and with them.
For older children, involve them when it comes to decisions such as which books to read. Encourage them to ask questions and let them tell you how they feel about the reading. Taking the time to read a story together at least once a day lets kids know that reading is worthwhile.
In case there are other older children in your home, schedule times when you can read together. You should also encourage the older children to read with their younger brothers or sisters.
4. Lead by Example
Be a good role model to your little one. If you spend all your leisure time playing video games, don’t expect your kid to develop a love of reading. Let your children observe you reading. Have books around your home and treat them with respect, and your children are likely to do the same. Research shows that children who grow up surrounded by books and watching their parents read end up loving books.
Let books be easily accessible to your child. For instance, you can create a home library or have a reading routine for your family. Let your teen have an e-reader on their smartphone or laptop so that they always have a book with them.
If your child is a reluctant reader, let them know that it’s okay for them to read for short periods. Expose to them various reading materials, including magazines, comic books, audiobooks, or newspapers, to help them form a positive opinion about reading.
In closing, you don’t need to use over-the-top tactics such as nagging or bribing to get your child to read. Encourage your little one to love books by making reading fun, setting a good example by being a reader yourself, reading to your child, and promoting a love for reading in your child from an early age.