“My child doesn’t show any interest in reading”, “These are new methods and I can’t help my child to read”, “The school work eats up all the time”, “My child reads school books that’s enough”
These are some of the statements we could say as a parent.
Now let us take a deep breathe and think why our children should read. Is it for scoring marks or credits? Is it to be fluent with an international language? If these are achieved then your child is ‘able to read’.
Ability to read is a skill - that is easily achieved in their fourteen or fifteen years of schooling.
Reading as habit is valued.
Significance of reading as habit
- helps in being self-compassionate
- makes more resilient
- feels more connected to wider community
- develops humility
- encourages empathy
Above all when reading becomes a habit, books become a lifelong best friend, an anytime solution provider and a stress buster without judgement.
Suggestions and tips in developing reading as a habit
Show. Don’t tell. Bring in reading as your habit. Not essentially a story book, it could even be a newspaper or a magazine. Discuss what you felt about the article or book you read. Share your point of view specifically.
Encourage children sit next to you while you read. Choose a calm time, might be before bed. To learn the ability to read, bed time is not the choice. But to develop as habit it could be. Don’t make it as a chore. Don’t demand. Get the children join you comfortably.
To encourage reading as habit, it need not be in English always. Even mother tongue is OK, if you both are comfortable.
Developing a reading habit should be fun-filled, enjoyable and creative. Make sure you don’t bring in reading skills while inculcating the habit. Schools are there to develop skills and by age it becomes better. But habits blossom from home.
Enjoy reading. It is never late to get into a habit. So lets become a reader and thus our children.