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How To Raise A Child Who Loves To Read

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Encouraging a child to read takes more than just entertaining story books. It’s a journey that you have to take together with your little one to fully inculcate a love for reading in him or her.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Seuss couldn’t have said it better. In today’s world, it might be tricky to get your child to instil that reading habit due to the many other distractions around – but it isn’t possible.

Let’s face it – reading is the top fundamental of learning and is the key to your child’s development. In fact, research has shown that the more reading a child does, the better they do in school. That being said, it is never too early or late to steer your kiddo toward books, so do not be afraid to take the first step to raising a reader. Here’s what you can do.

  1. Practice what you preach

    Familiar with the phrase ‘Monkey see, monkey do’? Yes, that’s right – before trying to encourage your child, you need to set the example. So, keep reading! After all, parents are the greatest influence to kids and seeing you constantly reading and finding out new things will definitely have an impact on your child as it will motivate him or her even more to pick up and flip through a book or two.

  2. Use books to bond
    It’s perfectly fine if your child seems to find it boring to read. Instead of making it a chore for the little one, turn the reading session into a daily activity for the both of you. Snuggling up next to you on the couch and hearing you read out loud will not only enable you to ensure that your child has gotten the daily dose of reading. It will make your child look forward to spending more time with you doing the same thing due to the undivided attention he or she gets from you.

    However, do not always be one doing the reading, says Margaret Chan, mother of one. “During the initial stages of trying to get my girl to read, what I used to do was to take turns with her to read one page a time. To jazz things up, I’d always challenge her by asking her to read even better than me with more expressions and feelings. This way, I am certain that my daughter was enjoying what she was reading.”

  3. Tap onto a genre
    We know how short a child’s attention span is, so be sure to get books that are off his or her interest currently. Whether it is dinosaurs, Disney princesses or even movie series, drawing your child’s attention through characters that they can relate to makes the whole reading process easier.

    But, it need not be books per se. If your child is interested in comics or magazines, allow them to kickstart the habit by reading in whatever form they like. You may want to introduce different genres and types of books once your child has gotten a hang of it. So, take it slow and encourage the baby steps.

  4. Visit the library often
    While it need not be a weekly affair; try your best to schedule for some family time in the library. Giving your child the space to explore newer books and watching other children read are also good ways to encourage them further. As mentioned in the previous point, if they can relate to it [reading], it will become a natural thing in them.

    “I remember spending my Saturday afternoons with my mum and siblings when I was growing up and that made me value my education a lot.  So, it was only right for me to carry on this ‘tradition’ with my two sons as I want them to realise that reading should be a part of their lives and that they are lucky to have this privilege of gaining knowledge,” expresses Kavita Kumar, mother of two.

  5. Talk, talk, talk 
    Your child’s connection with the book shouldn’t end on the last page. Follow up by posing questions to your little one about how the book was or what he or she thinks the moral of the story is. Such thought process will teach your child to make sense of what they’ve read and also of the essence of the book. P.s. You will also know if your child enjoyed that particular book or not.

  6.  Play reading-related games
    Games like scrabble and boggle make great starters, so try starting out with fun reading-related. 

Cultivating the reading habit into your child has multiple benefits. It doesn’t just give your child a headstart in academics but also aids in their development.