Being able to read is a critical life skill. But many children don’t like the idea. Countless parents have had battles with their kids over the years about reading books.
You can’t blame them. Telling a young child that reading is fun seems like a long-shot to them. Everything else they do for pleasure is immediate and obvious. But reading takes work and doesn’t yield enjoyment quickly.
So what’s a mom to do? How can you get your kid more interested in reading from an early age? Take a look at these tips.
Become A Role Model
Research shows that kids instinctively copy their parents’ behaviors. Incredibly, you don’t have to force any of it. You just lead by example and your kids will follow.
Investigators, for instance, have looked at why some kids are happy to do chores with their parents, while others will avoid it at all costs. The moral of the story seems to be that if you add an element of compulsion, the child will rebel. But if you just include it naturally in the day, they’ll help. It sounds strange – and the concept seems alien to many of us given how we were raised – but it works.
The same seems to be true of reading. When you get interested in a book, your kids do too. And that can encourage them to read. Sometimes just handing them a book with a cover that interests them can be enough to give them the spark. Once they get through the first chapter of a novel, many kids are hooked and wondering what’s going to happen next.
Read Alongside A Furry Friend
Books aren’t the most enticing objects for many kids. They struggle to figure out how to play with them. They can’t draw on them. And their pages are covered in a strange kind of code that they don’t yet understand.
That’s okay. The book itself doesn’t have to do all the legwork. You can recruit cuddly toys too.
Teddies can be a great reading aid. You can set up a situation where both you and the bear are reading a book and make it seem super interesting. Then the child will wonder what’s going on and what makes it so enjoyable. You can then use this as an opportunity to ask them what the words say or to simply read out loud.
Reading the same dull children’s books over and over again can feel like a chore after a while. You already know what happens to the wolf and the three little pigs. But stick with it. Science shows that continually repeating particular words and phrases helps with speech and language development.
Ask Your Children What Certain Words On The Page Say
Telling a child to “read” usually doesn’t work. But asking them questions about what certain words say can put them on track.
You want to bring your child to the point where they begin using sight words naturally. Words like “the” and “where” are impossible to read phonetically. But once the child learns them by sight alone, the task of reading practically everything else becomes much easier.
Create More Reading Opportunities
When you think about it, there are so many opportunities for children to read throughout the day. It’s just that as parents, we don’t always take advantage of them. And that’s a pity.
Whenever you travel in the car or get ready for bed, reading should be available. Again, you don’t have to force the matter. Kids will naturally try to entertain themselves, so long as they have opportunities to do so.
Leave a book in the backseat of the car and on your kids’ bedside table. Add a reading light to make reading at night easier.
Start With Pictures
Children are primarily visual creatures. So it makes sense to begin with books that have a lot of pictures before moving onto their wordier counterparts.
Pop-up books are even better because they add an element of theatre and excitement to the occasion. The child doesn’t know what’s coming next.
Don’t Take Away Reading Materials As Punishment
If your child loves reading, it can be tempting to take it away as punishment, especially if it creates an inconvenience. Try to avoid this impulse if you can. It can be frustrating when your child wants to read and you have a schedule. But remember, a lot of parents would do anything to be in your position. Reading helps to develop the mind and increases life success chances.