Reading is a passion for many people. But even avid readers may not know just how far back their love of reading stretches.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who find pleasure in reading have the potential to become lifelong readers. In addition, studies have shown that reading to children can help kids become familiar with sounds, words and language, helping them in their earliest stages of cognitive development. So adults who love books might be able to trace their passion for page-turners to those times their mothers and fathers read aloud to them as youngsters.
Parents who want to their children to learn to love reading can rely on various techniques to accomplish that goal.
Make reading a routine. Routine is a necessity for parents, helping children learn when it’s time to eat, play and go to sleep, among other things. Parents can include reading to their children as part of their daily routines. As noted, doing so will promote language skills and cognitive development while also acclimating children to books and providing valuable time for them to bond with their parents.
Create a distraction-free reading environment. When reading to children, parents can create an environment with little to no distractions. This allows kids to focus on their parents’ voices as well as the story they’re being told. Parents can turn off the television and the radio when reading to their kids. In addition, moms and dads should leave smartphones or tablets in another room so they aren’t distracted by alerts or tempted to check for incoming messages or emails.
Read aloud together. Some children may shy away from reading if they struggle in their initial efforts to read. That does not mean kids won’t ultimately enjoy reading, it just means a little more effort may be required on parents’ part to help kids overcome any issues they have. Reading aloud to children can help little ones learn how to become good readers, as they will learn how to pronounce words and form sentences. Kids who know how to read can be encouraged to read to their parents, which can instill self-esteem. If kids struggle with certain words or sentences when reading aloud, parents can read those words and/or sentences aloud to them and ask them to repeat the phrases back.
Let kids pick their own books. When reading to youngsters, whether they’re babies, toddlers or already in school, parents can let sons and daughters choose their own books. Children might be especially enthusiastic about reading if they’re allowed to choose their own books and stories.