You know the benefits of encouraging your children to read. You have shelves of books lining your home, just waiting for someone to dip into them.
     And… your child has absolutely no desire to read.
     To an extent, it’s difficult to blame them. Even as adults, we find it hard to resist the lure of gadgets that offer more ways to waste our time than we ever could have dreamt of as children. With screens, cartoons, apps, and the entire knowledge of human history easily tapped into on a device - why would a modern child want to pick up a book?
     It might be difficult to understand if you read far and wide as a child. For you, books were a portal to your imagination; you can’t understand why your own child is struggling to find a love for something that came so naturally to you.
     So - what are the options? Is there any way to peel your child back from the screens that are demanding their attention, and turn them to the simplest pleasure of them all? Perhaps there is…
DON’T Make Books A Punishment
     It might be tempting to think that just because you loved reading, the best way of making your child into a bookworm is to make them read. Surely, you can convince yourself, the only thing they are missing out on is the fact they haven’t spent enough time reading! When they get into it, they will realize what they are missing out on, and soon you won’t be able to get their head out of a book.
     It might work; you never know with kids! However, if you try and insist they put the phone or tablet down, then reading a book can quickly feel like a punishment. Reading is best when it’s encouraged, not when it’s insisted upon. If you want to offer incentives for reading - such as an extra 10 minutes watching their favorite TV show - then that’s very different, but don’t even make it a straight either/or. It’s perfectly possible for a child to have rounded pursuits that indulge both analog and digital forms of enjoyment.DO Let Them Try Different Styles and Genres
     If you hand your child the books you enjoyed and are shocked to discover they have not-so-favorable reviews, then keep in mind that everyone is different. It’s not that they hate reading and you, trying to encourage them, are faced with a task akin to pushing a rock up a hill. The main issue might be that they haven’t found a book that interests them.
     By the time your child is in their teens, they are old enough to have some idea of what they might like. Encourage them to scour sites like booksiren.com and read Amazon reviews to give them some inspiration for what they might like to try. You can check over their selections to ensure they are age-appropriate, but that aside, there’s no need for you to dictate what they should read.
DON’T Give Books As Gifts (Until They Are Asked For)
     What better what to inspire interest in reading than to give books as a gift, you might think. Well, as a famous internet viral video on youtube.com shows… books aren’t particularly welcome as gifts, especially for younger children. It’s too easy for a child to feel they have been “short-changed” by a gift when it’s a book; as a result, they’re going to resent it. It’s not a way of creating a love of reading.
     Instead, see books as an investment like clothes and shoes - things you are going to buy year round. If your budget isn’t going to stretch to that, then a library card is an easy solution that gives access to a wide amount of choice.
DO Encourage Your Kids To Talk About Books
     Reading is - by its very nature - a solitary pursuit. If your kids are sociable creatures, they may not enjoy sitting by themselves in complete silence. They’re not going to take kindly to something that seems to go against their very nature.
     It therefore makes sense to encourage them to talk about books. Read along with them, then discuss what you thought in the manner of a book club. If they don’t like the silence, then experiment with audio books to show them that books can be a group experience too. For some kids, sitting still and focusing on one thing alone for a long period of time is not going to be pleasurable, so bend your preferences around this.
 


Comments

05/19/2017 2:54pm

The habit of sitting still and spend several hours in studying and searching for new books is not healthy especially for kids. It is necessary for them to take part in physical activities too.Nice discussion about kids training and developing good and positive activities.

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