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Book a date with a book - Teach your kid the art of reading

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

Reading is an activity that helps your child’s mind to grow. When they read a book, they develop their imagination, improve their vocabulary, satiate their curiosity, and develop a mind of their own.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

Not all kids who read are nerdy. Being well-read helps one to be adept at holding his own in a social setting. The child may have an opinion on something and can speak about the issues being discussed.

Television programs, video games, and computer games are more appealing to kids these days as compared to reading a book. When you can Google anything and everything you want to know, sitting with a book and flipping the pages to gather the information you want, can be a tedious task.

The hectic lives that the parents lead leaves them with no time to read either, so the kids have nothing to follow as an example.

Under such circumstances, books will soon lose all their charm and be a thing of the past. To bring back the magic of books into your kids’ lives, there are several things one can do.

  1. Lead by example- Children learn from watching their parents. Spare yourself some time to read every day. Start your day with a newspaper and end it with a few pages of a novel. Seeing you read will make your kid interested in reading, too.
  2. Read Together–Find out a book or a topic that seems relevant or interesting to the kid. Read about it yourself and ask your child to do the same. Discuss the topic during dinnertime. Make it a point to show interest as to what your child has read, understood,or formed an opinion about.
  3. Rewards and Gifts- Gift a book on occasions like birthday, or when your child has done well in the exams. Books can be used as a great form of bargaining, for example, every chapter that your child completes would earn them an extra half hour of playtime.
  4. Choose wisely- Reading books don’t necessarily mean reading classics or bestsellers. Choose a book as per your child’s interests. Take your child to a bookshop and let him choose.
  5. Do not impose-Parents believe that reading comics or magazines doesn’t count as reading. It would be wise for such parents to understand that reading should be fun for the kid. Forcing him to read something that he doesn’t want to read will only push him away from books.
  6. Libraries and reading groups- Libraries can be a fascinating place for book lovers. Introduce your child to a library and let him explore his interests. Besides, libraries can be easy on your pockets too. Reading groups help in expanding one’s horizon of knowledge. Reading something and then holding a discussion on it helps in the mental growth of a child.