How To Make Your Child Fall In Love With Reading
“Have you finished reading it already?”
My mother looked at me with a mixture of astonishment, frustration and pride. There I was, not even seven, holding an Enid Blyton novel in my hand that my mother had bought me earlier that day. I nodded and giggled. I was a voracious reader and devoured every piece of information – fictional or not – that my limited vocabulary could comprehend.
She shook her head, murmuring something about getting me a library card.
Reading – A Child’s Best Friend
Books have always been my best friends, and I can undoubtedly say that these books have greatly affected how I live my life today. Reading a book is like entering the author’s thoughts, into a brand new world that I didn’t even know existed. They allow you to see things that have been and things that could be, and empower you in ways you couldn’t imagine. A well written book connects you to its characters, helping you enjoy their happiness and learn from their mistakes.
The love for reading is not something that only comes from within – it can be developed. That doesn’t mean that you should be forcing your child to read if he can’t read yet or if he doesn’t want to at that time. Some children don’t start reading until they are a little bit older, and that’s completely okay. However, set apart maybe half an hour every day when they can read absolutely anything they want. Also, do not deny giving your children picture books if that is what they are into. They will eventually run out of picture books, but the appreciation for reading something, just holding a book in their hands, will help them make the switch to reading books with actual letters.
Start reading to your child at an early age. Even if they don’t understand the alphabet, they will understand the story. You could act out the story if you are upto it, or simply cuddle with your child and turn reading into a cozy, bonding time. Encourage books over technology, and teach them to love the feel of paper over that of the black mirror.
Once your children begin to read, visit local bookshops or libraries and let them awe at the number of books that they could choose from. Let them make their way through different genres until they find one (or many!) of their favorites. And once they do start reading, don’t stop them. If they read books like I do, often finishing books in mere hours, don’t stop them unless it is interfering with other activities. A library card will help them find hundreds of worlds to explore without drilling a hole into your pocket.
The love for reading is a gift that your child will take forward into the later stages of life, and it might be up to you to help develop this habit. So start early, turn it into a daily ritual, and watch their love for it grow as they discover a thousand universes with a million adventures.