Medical research has shown that children who have been read to and love to read are more emotionally secure and confident with themselves. However, in today’s technological society, this great pastime has taken a backseat to video games, television, and other electronics. Where does a parent begin their search to learn how to encourage their child to read?
A great starting point for every parent is to read to children while they are young, and let them see you read. Simply curl up with your books and read together. Young children love to mimic their parents, and they will do just about anything to spend time with their parents. You can even take this a step further by taking a trip to your local library to pick out books together. A fun outing turns into a step toward reading.
Once children start school, teachers and parents must work together to keep them reading books and enjoying what they read. Many schools require students to read books and take tests. This might even be a part of their grade. This is where encouraging gets tricky. You must not force your child to read. This will only make them resent reading and you. Instead, encourage them by helping them find the right reading material. Work with your child to explore different genres and books which hold content your child might enjoy. This middle age group is tech savvy and might enjoy reading a book straight from the Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPad. Let them enjoy their electronic gadgets while they are filling their brains with reading material. They will think they are pulling one over on their parents, when, in fact, you are the winner.
Teens can be a difficult age group to encourage. By this point, they either love reading or they hate it. If your child falls into the latter category, what can you do? It’s time to review everything that worked when they were middle age. What subjects are they interested in? Which genre do they prefer? Interests and tastes change over time and what they like when they were ten will probably not be what they enjoy at seventeen. Another option at this age is the magazine market. While it might not be the most educational, it provides reading material for reluctant readers.
Remember, a child learns how to read through encouragement. Never force a child to read. This could lead to your child resenting reading and seeing it as a chore. Encouraging your children to read can be quite a challenge for every parent, but with perseverance the benefits are huge!