Raising a reader: Inculcating good reading practices in children

reading helps children become sharper- Easy Tips by ZenParent
One of my favourite memories from all things that have inspired me in life is the clip from the movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’, where Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) reads to children in her bookshop in complete serenity. This citation stayed back with me to become quite an inspiration to read to my kids. Years later, I did put this into action with a lot of commitment. I also, always quite enjoyed reading to them, as I am myself very fond of books.I see some parents struggling with developing a reading habit in their children so; I want to share my experiences with them as this is not such a humongous task. Some simple rules are all it takes to make every child fond of reading.Start Early: I started reading to my daughter when she was 9 months old and I could barely wait that long with my son. I started reading with him, when he was barely 5-6 months old. And he responded. Babies love to hear the mother/ father talking. It is very comforting for them to lie down next to you and hear your voice. So, just pick up a book. There are several simple books with lot of rhyming, repetitive sounds that babies love.

early reading habits- Easy tips by ZenParent

Pick the right books: Thanks to some wonderful children’s authors like Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss, Roger Hargreaves, Roald Dahl and many more, there are piles of books appropriate for various age groups, written for children. Pick the right book at the right stage. You don’t always have to go by the age mentioned on the books. You will know what your child is ready for. Make your choice based on that. Both my children have always read books beyond their age and thoroughly enjoyed them. While that remains, my daughter still likes to go back to books written for much younger age group and has fun reading them.When the children grow up a little, around three-and-a-half to four years onwards, let them have a say in the books they want to read. Take them around libraries and book stores and let them pick up books that appeal to them.Be regular: Include reading time in your daily routine. We have always followed the practice of reading before bed time. It is such an ingrained habit now, that my children can’t fall asleep without reading for at least half-an-hour every day.Be it school days, vacation time or exam time, just stick to the reading routine. Reading for a little while can also be a huge stress-buster for children when they have hectic academic schedules. Reading is an excellent way to unwind; your way to take off to an unexplored world, sitting right in your room.

wide variety of books is a good reading habit- Easy tips by ZenParent

Offer a wide variety: It would be best to not restrict children to certain kind of books. I have noticed several parents insisting on buying/ borrowing only factual or science based books. Unfortunately, when these books are tossed at children, they equate books to deadly boredom.I believe that children should be given an option to choose from a variety of books, right from comics to fiction to recipe books, travel, sports, sci-fi, whatever appeals to them. Once a reading habit is formed, they will open up to new genres effortlessly.Set an example yourself: Children love to ape parents. Don’t expect your children to become avid readers if you are yourself quite averse to the habit.If you are not already a reader,inculcate the habit. Be open with your children about your efforts. Involve them and develop the habit together. You will enjoy the voyage your books will offer both to you and your kids!

raise a good reader- Easy tips by ZenParentImage source: Devaki Bhujang Gajare, Founder of Little Readers’ Nook, a Reading Program for children