There is a great deal of research out there about the importance of reading to your children and the benefits to children of reading from a young age, but what if your child isn’t particularly interested in story time? Here are a few quick and easy tips to help you cultivate a love of reading in your child.
Start from a young age. Even if your child isn’t old enough to understand what you are reading to them or doesn’t have the attention span to sit through reading a whole book, make sure you still read to him or her starting at an early age.
Buy books within your child’s interests. As your child grows, what he or she is interested in will continue to change. Follow along with these developments and purchase books that your child will be excited to read. (I say purchase them because your child is likely too young to be able to properly care for library books and, if they find a book they really love, they will be asking that you read it over and over, so you may as well just buy the book so you always have it when they want to read it.)
Let your child pick out the bedtime stories. Letting your child pick out what you read to him or her at night will help keep him or her interested, excited, and engaged. If there’s a book that you are just plain tired of reading, perhaps hide that one and suggest two or three other books for your child to pick from, but allow your child to make the final decision.
Make sure your children see you read. Allowing your child to see mommy and daddy reading books of their own helps your child see that reading is a life-long activity. Seeing mommy and daddy read will also encourage your child’s imitation and, in no time at all, your child will be sitting next to you “reading” his or her favorite book.
Make books part of their daily lives. Books should be fun and special, and they should not be just for special occasions. Set aside quiet time for reading each day. Read your child a bedtime story each night. Bring home new books for your child on a regular basis. Show your excitement about reading and your child will start to develop the same levels of excitement about reading.
What are some of your child’s favorite books?