Teaching your children the value of reading and to enjoy the pleasure of it can seem like a monumental task. And, it is if you let it be.
Children — not just adults — are a target audience for the producers, developers, and manufacturers of online streaming, social media, cell phone and tablet apps, computer games, and social media. Children have access to dozens if not hundreds of instant gratification entertainment devices, platforms, and media sources.
Pulling them out of the virtual world can feel like an impossible objective.
But, it isn’t.
Teaching your kids to love books is as simple as being a good role model, dedicating time to them, and having and maintaining expectations.
There are three things you must do if you want your child to learn to love reading.
If you don’t read, your children won’t. If children are anything, they are impressionable. They will mimic your behavior, regardless of what it is. If you read on a regular basis, your children will. If you eat your vegetables, your children will. If you exercise and keep a positive attitude, so too will your children! Parenting is often about setting a good example, so take this opportunity to enrich your own life as well as your children’s.
2. Read to them!
Young children especially love being read to by their parents. It is very rare that a young child will be more inclined to sit by themselves with a digital device than they will be to curl up next to mom or dad and listen to them read. Start reading to your child and you will become amazed at how quickly they become accustomed to sitting quietly with you to read. Quickly, they will develop a keen interest in books!
3. Reward them with praise for reading
Praise your children for reading. Praise your children to other people — in front of them — for being readers. Emphasize the importance of reading and reiterate the fact that you are proud of them for reading.
And, most importantly, do not reward them for reading with “play time” on a digital device. Make certain your children understand that reading is a rewarding endeavor, not work!
While we parents come up with excuses for our children not reading — and digital devices are very convenient, — there is no excuse for being a parent with children who can’t read!