Reading helps in the overall personality development of your child.
Reading can truly work wonders! This simple activity is not just a way of accumulating knowledge and information, but also an effective tool in personality development. That’s why it is said that a well read man exudes a charm like no other. Usually, parents want their children to read and read in depth, but while they want or expect this from kids they tend to forego reading in favour of the television. If you are wondering where to get started and how to inculcate reading habits in your kids, here are some tips that can guide you in this regard:
Start early: Did you know that you can introduce your baby to books as early as at six months? That’ right, it is the ideal age to start getting your baby to cultivate an interest in books, which will make reading a pleasurable activity in the future. Introducing books at this age will help her develop her visual senses and inculcate an early reading and learning habit. Babies from six to eight months love to see books with images of animals, flowers, fruits, vegetables and objects that have a visual appeal. This opens new pathways in the brain and helps your baby to get acquainted with books. So after you are done with buying all those colourful rattles and toys, shop for books, especially if you want her to read more in the future.
Make it interactive: As she grows and picks up words of single or double syllables, point to objects and ask her about the familiar pictures and words. Never mind the pronunciations; in fact in this way you will help her begin talking earlier and it will also help sustain her interest in reading and books. Make sure that your child is actually absorbing information; don’t just blindly read to her and show her pictures, instead ask questions and do that often. Don’t expect answers from her at the start, at times you may have to go through the question and answer session all alone. Don’t give up though, as these practices will pay off eventually and help develop your baby’s interest in reading soon. Remember not to make it stressful for her. If you see that she isn’t paying attention to the objects or pictures you show her and wants to read from a different book, oblige. The idea is to keep the fun alive and not make it tedious for her. Toddlers have a very short span of interest for any activity, so be flexible with her moods and needs. Learning aside, these interactive reading sessions can be a great way to bond with your baby when she is sixteen or eighteen months and starts to pick up words.
Keep special times for reading: To make reading a habit, read to her often. Many parents prefer to do it at bedtime, reading out stories. Remember even when your baby can’t read you can still do that for her. Because in this way she will learn to sit and spend time with her books later, instead of just flipping through her board books and running around with them. She will also learn that reading doesn’t simply imply flipping through the pages and looking at colourful pictures. Read out loud to her and buy age appropriate books that are colourful and full of images, but also include some amount of text. Only when you notice that she can sit through a full session of reading a single book, buy books that contain more information, as opposed to imagery.
Go for book shopping: From a very early age introduce her to book-stores. Allow her to explore the books at the kids section on her own; you will obviously need to keep an eye on her. This will quite literally open a whole new world to her and it may also get her excited and eager to add to her small collection of books at home. Give her some of the books that she wants to read and while you may encourage her to read certain books, try not to force your preferences on to her. At the store she will be spoilt for choices and that will help her (and also you) to know where her interest lies. Kids of three years and above are quite aware of their own likes, so let them make choices for themselves, while steering them towards better quality books.
Replace books with toys: Like you have set aside playtimes, do the same with books also. Give your baby a book to read or flip through alone for a stipulated time of the day. In this way she will learn to keep herself entertained with books and learn to read soon as she grows. Do not interrupt or be tempted to read to her while she is alone with her books.She needs some time to bond with the books on her own too. So just stay away for those precious little moments.
Play word games: While you want your baby to read, don’t just keep thrusting all kinds of books on her. Sometimes, she will need a break from books and that’s when you should play word games with her. Use simple words that she can relate to with her stories in the books. For instance, if you have read The Little Red Hen to her, spell the words RED or HEN pointing to a red toy block or a picture of a hen. During these games keep the storybook away. This will help her to widen her horizon and link the words better with the world in general. You can practice this when you are out with her and pick up random things around and spell their names. This is an amazing parent-toddler game that will increase her vocabulary and in a subtle way encourage reading and learning too.
Get a variety of books: At times parents tend to be biased with books too. They might pick up a Cinderella for the girl child and The Gingerbread Man for the boy child, but such choices will only help to perpetuate gender biases and stereotypes. Your daughter needs to learn the morals and values from both the stories. Also pick up different genres for your growing kid. This is the only way you can help her develop a reading habit the right way.
Set a good example: Do you read enough? If not it can be a little difficult to inculcate the habit in your child, because no matter the books, the stories and the values in them, children learn only by example.
This article was originally published on www.thehealthsite.com
Source: DNA India