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Our bookshelves have housed every imaginable title from Charlie and Lola to Tinkle comics and encyclopedias of all types.
“Mom, I am bored!”
I am sure every mom can relate to this.
As a mom of two boys, I hear this complaint all the time. Children are constantly bored and expect us to entertain them or at least nudge them towards an activity that will keep them busy.
Each time I hear this complaint, my answer has always been, “Go, read a book!”
Interestingly, it works every time, for my kids love books and will bury themselves in them for hours.
In this digital age where children prefer tablets, phones, and laptops to books, most parents find it surprising that my boys are happier to read books. Well, I believe it is because we inculcated a strong reading habit when they were very young.
And I am certain that it is one of the best things we did as parents!
Dr.Pugh, director of Haskin Laboratories that studies the science of language, suggests that reading is a workout for the brain. This activity causes the different neural circuits for vision, language, and associative learning to connect and act in tandem. This improves vocabulary, comprehension, and the ability to understand complex topics.
The vocabulary of a child is directly related to the books they read. The more children read, the better they develop the ability to understand and use language. When they read stories, their imagination takes wings, their curiosity grows!
They see the world through the characters in these stories. As they explore emotions and situations, they develop empathy. It also teaches them to relate what they see in their daily lives to what they read.
Here are some tips to help you guide your child to develop an interest in this exciting and engrossing activity.
Start early: It is never too early to introduce your child to books. Reading to infants during their first year makes them more receptive to learning. Start with colorful board books with simple images. I used to make our reading sessions interesting with interactions and voice modulation to make them more enjoyable. Reading with emotions also helps children to shed their inhibitions and build confidence.
Read together every day: Make reading with your child a daily habit. Set aside a specific time when you read together. Bedtime is a great time to bond over stories and relax as a family. Encourage your child to read to you. Attach tricky or new words together and gently guide them towards tackling advanced topics on their own. Discuss the book and answer questions your child may have. This bonding time will help you build a strong relationship with your child.
Choose books appropriate for your child’s level of understanding: Keep your child’s interests in mind when you choose books. Find subjects that your child will enjoy. Some children like stories while others prefer informative books. Identify their likes and get them books that suit their taste. Once they develop an interest in reading, they will explore other subjects and take to reading diverse topics.
Visit libraries, author visits, literary fests, and public programs: Make library visits a family affair. Help your child explore the wide variety of titles available. Teach children to locate books on the shelves and let them understand how to make the most of what the library offers. Participate in public programs like author visits, book-based crafts, and story sessions that will further enhance their fondness for books.
Reading is addictive. But how do you keep up with a constant supply of books to entertain them?
Either get a library membership or make a habit of visiting second-hand book shops. We have this practice of getting new books only for birthdays. However, our annual visit to a second-hand bookstore ensures that we have enough books to get through the entire year.
Our bookshelves have housed every imaginable title from Charlie and Lola to Tinkle comics and encyclopedias of all types. As my children grew, exchanging these books for those that satisfied their latest preferences has helped me indulge their interests without breaking the bank.
It is never too late to introduce your child to the fascinating world of books, take that first step today!
Not only is reading one of the most affordable ways to entertain oneself, but it is also one of the easiest ways to raise well-informed, clever, and imaginative children. Encourage your child to build a love for books and it will be one of the biggest gifts you can give them.
Image source – Amina Filkins on pexels
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Always on the lookout for new things to learn, I am a voracious reader, globetrotter,
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