In today’s digital world, where our brains are addicted to audio and video stimulation, you have probably wondered how to help your child discover the magical world of books and inspire them to develop a habit of reading. How can you get your child interested in silent words when you must compete with all that fun from video games, movies, TV and Internet?
The first rule – it’s never too late
Regardless of your child’s age, it’s never too late to fall in love with books. Don’t get discouraged if your kids haven’t showed interest in books so far, or if they seem to be interested only in video games. Things can change for the better. Don’t forget that kids learn by mimicking other’s behavior, so by setting a good example and making reading material easily available – you can achieve wonders and help your child develop an interest in books.
Setting a good example
If parents have a habit of reading, kids are more likely to become interested in reading themselves. Read some fun parts of your favorite book or something from a magazine out loud in front of your kids. Ask them to tell you what they think of it, get them interested in talking and commenting, laugh and have fun with them. This way you will help your child see that books are fun and reading is not just something they have to do in school.
Getting a new book is an adventure!
Before you take your kids to children’s book stores or to the library, get them interested in what’s about to happen. Tell them about the magic of possibilities; so many new stories and new characters. Let them tell you what they would like to read about. Some kids will show initiative in choosing their books on their own without your assistance, others will need a little encouragement and guidance from you. It’s important to make the arrival of new stories into your home a fun and happy experience.
Make books available
If you want to help your child develop an interest in reading, you have to make books visible and available. Keep them close to places where your child likes to spend time, together with toys, on your couch, in your car, install new colorful and fun book shelves. Make books noticeable items in your home. If you keep them out of sight, they are less likely to be read.
Become a part of a reading community
Stay informed about local events such as reading programs for kids at libraries or book stores, book fairs, promotions of new books etc. Take children to places where books are praised and at the center of attention. An atmosphere where books are appreciated will help your child understand books are important.
Technology can be your friend
Don’t be afraid of technology; it can be your friend if you use it wisely! Use it as additional assistance to help your child get involved in reading. There are software tools, interactive web sites or study programs such as Adopt An Author which can be of great help in making reading fun.