Many mothers ask, “How do you encourage your children to sit down and read a book?” I get asked this question frequently as my children loves to read.
As a child, I was never an enthusiastic reader. Black and white pages were just plain boring and it made me sleepy. I could never concentrate and focus. My parents discovered I loved colours as I could sit and colour all day. But why doesn’t she read? They never really pushed the issue and just let me be the colouring in child. My siblings enjoyed reading and were showered with lots of books. When I think back to my childhood, my parents could have persevered to find other avenues to excite me to pick up a book, but life does get in the way.
There is no simply answer for this question because every child is different. Therefore, my answer to this question is, “It’s hard but persevere and they will eventually love to read.”
Here are a few tips that have worked for me:
- Start off with a book a day. It’s like brushing your teeth or having a bath every day. Build it into a daily routine. Let your child choose the book and time to read it. Don’t apply pressure as this will just add to the problem. As long as it’s done before bedtime is fine.
- Have books everywhere. I mean literally everywhere. Whether it be in the car, pram, bedroom, family room, kitchen bench, bathroom and even in the toilet. Sounds desperate but it does work. My child loves to read in the toilet. He is often in there for quite a while.
- Have your child read to other family members like their grandparents, auntie, uncle or your good friend. When they feel comfortable sitting with another person, they will tend to relax and not feel anxious to perform. For various reasons, children love to receive praise from other people too. It’s like a “show off” time for them. My children love to read to their Grandma. Her English is limited and they feel like they’re teaching her English. Perfect!
I hope these fun tips can help you like it’s helped me. Reading should be fun and enjoyable for everyone. If they don’t pick up a book now, they will sooner or later. Happy reading everyone.