In a world where everything is digital and where adults themselves rarely pick up a book to read, it can be difficult to convey to your child just how fulfilling reading is. Instead of a bedtime story, children will prefer to watch some YouTube videos or play a game on their phone before nodding off.
Kids will often think of reading as a chore and associate it with learning and school, rather than as a hobby. If you can manage to remove this barrier and get them interested and curious to pick up a book in their free time, it’ll be a major step forward in transforming them into a young bookworm.
While your child is still young, reading out loud to them is one of the best ways to get them hooked. Some parents will even read to their child while they are still in the mum’s tummy! Even if your baby does not understand what you are reading to her, she will associate your voice with comfort, and thus will think of reading as something comforting and soothing long after story time is over.
Another important point we sometimes forget is that our children will pick up our own habits left, right, and centre, whether we like it or not. If you’re a regular reader yourself, your child will automatically pick up the habit and think of it as the norm. But if you’re reading a story to your child and looking at your phone simultaneously they won’t feel the comfort and enjoyment you want to convey to them.
Setting a few hours a day where you restrict any technology use can do wonders for your child’s physical and mental development. This can help create an environment where reading is valued and fun.
As your child gets older, you should encourage him to read about topics that he enjoys himself. Take them to bookshops, explore the library together, and help them find something that is appropriate for their age, mentally stimulating, and interesting to them. For example, some kids do not like fiction because it doesn’t feel ‘real’ to them. So, try to understand their preferences and help them choose something that they will enjoy and look forward to reading.
At the end of the day, there is nothing quite as satisfying as the smell of an old bookshop and holding a book in your hands, with each page you read educating and inspiring you more. Technology is great, but make sure your child does not miss out on the joys and benefits of reading a real book.