Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Your Child's Choices

This may seem like a redundant post, but it is because I get asked quite often the same question:  How can I get my child to love reading?

There is no one answer as each child differs. I can tell you that you have to make the experience about the child, and not about yourself. You may want to steer them to a certain book or genre, but if you really want them to love to read--see what they like without any interference. There will be plenty of times in the years ahead to direct them towards the classics, the Newbery Award winners, or your childhood treasures. Right now, it is about finding out what piques their interest.

Take your child to the library--or better yet--a bookstore! Let them loose, figuratively speaking, and see where they go. Follow close behind, but let them explore. Make going to a bookstore as fun as going to a toy store! When you go to Toys-R-Us, do you tell them what toys to like? Or do you let their natural curiosity lead them to the right toy? It is the same process with books! Tell your child they can pick out one or two of their favorite books to take home and watch as their enthusiasm grows.

It doesn't matter if your child picks up a comic, board book, early chapter book, or recipe book! They have made their decision, which means they are more apt to read the book you purchased. Now don't expect them to read it all on their own. Take a vested interest! Become a part of the process. Discuss the book with them. Answer any questions your child may have, and ask a few of your own! Make reading a bonding experience.

Be sure to create a quiet place to read without distractions. This can be a delightful reading nook just for them, or merely a comfy overstuffed chair like the one in our home. The idea is to have an atmosphere conducive to reading without all the external noise. In time they will learn to tune out the world when they are reading, but in the beginning they need a little help with that.

Continue with this process. As time goes by and your child becomes an avid reader on their own, begin introducing some of the books you would like them to read.  However, never force them to read your choices--that will go down like the Titanic! All you need to do is make them available. They may pick one up right away or it may take months. Eventually, the chances of them reading one of your selections is pretty good.

Believe it or not, if you show interest in what your child is reading they will want to share their adventure with you. They'll even talk to you!  Once a pattern is established it will continue on into their--gasp--teenage years!  All it took was a simple trip to the library or book store as a small child.  It is amazing the doors that books can open up...

Wishing you all a little adventure,

K. Lamb


First Photo: http://www.theguardian.com
Second Photo: http://www.delightfulchildrensbook.com (great source for reading nook ideas!)

No comments:

Post a Comment