“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”, is a popular idiom. It is also the motivation behind most parents wanting to inculcate the habit of reading in their kids. However, in the modern age of distractions galore, it’s easier said than done, and is a common source of pain and complaints among parents and teachers of young kids alike.

Whether you’re a prospective parent that already wants future children to become readers, or a frustrated parent trying to make your kids read, we’d like to tell you that with a little ingenuity, honest effort and our tips, you’ll stand a pretty good chance of being able to inculcate this extremely useful hobby in your child. Let’s dive right in.

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Practice What You Preach

You’re not going to be able to turn your child into a reader by simply wishing it or admonishing her for not reading. Children are extremely perceptive and malleable, so start with inculcating a habit of reading in yourself, and ensuring that your child is watching. When they see you reading, they’re likely to be intrigued and try to do it themselves. In fact, a great way to start is to read stories out to your children when they’re very young to get them excited about it, and gradually introduce them to reading stories and books themselves.
“Remember to listen more and talk less while you’re at it and be open to your children’s imagination and interpretations.”

Talk to Your Child, Don’t Prescribe

If there’s one thing children hate, it’s being told to do things. There’s a subtle difference between wanting your child to develop the habit of reading and wanting them to read the kind of books you want them to! Remember that just like music, children’s tastes in reading can vary very widely, and just because you read them mystery novels when they were smaller doesn’t mean they’ll end up liking it to too! Try to speak with your child to find out the kind of books they might be interested in – introduce themes and genres, and then let them pick!

Discuss What Your Child is Reading

Discussing what your children are reading and showing genuine interest in it will encourage your children to read more and have meaningful conversations with you – giving you a unique insight into how they think and what they like. Also talk to them about the books you’ve read recently and help them relate what’s in the book with real life situations to make things even more interesting! Remember to listen more and talk less while you’re at it and be open to your children’s imagination and interpretations.
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Try Different Formats of Books

If you notice that your child is not very interested in traditional books with text formats, try other kinds of books. Online webstores as well as physical book shops nowadays have beautiful illustrated novels, photobooks, comics, and more that might end up piquing your child’s interest and get them hooked on to reading. Always important to remember like we said earlier that it’s important to ensure that we don’t get too attached to the idea of our children reading a certain kind or format of books!

Reading-Related Social Activities

Reading might sometimes not interest children because it’s usually an activity that’s done alone, and at that age kids are more interested in interacting with others. However, you’d be surprised to know how social reading can be! Many organizations, schools, and individuals now organize discussions around books, book readings, and other fun activities around the idea of reading. Find a group that’s suitable for your child, or make one by talking to parents in your neighborhood and make reading social!

Remember, Technology is Your Friend

Technology often gets blamed for making today’s kids a distracted bunch, but we think that’s a very narrow-minded view. The same technology that gives us distracting games can also give us incredible and immersive ways of getting your children interested in reading. If your children are not fond of the actual process of reading, they can listen to audiobooks and learn. There are also interactive books and novels which allow kids to interact with literature in ways that traditional books can’t! E-Book readers enable kids to access books from global markets and store them in an easily portable device. Technology is never bad; it’s just about leveraging it in the right direction!

At betterU, we are strong believers in the habit of reading and its ability to open new horizons for children – allowing them to gain a wider perspective on things. We also believe that the ability of technology to provide an immersive and engaging experience is key to the development of children, whether it be in their extra-curricular habits or their coursework. Just like the habit of reading, kids are often uninterested in school because they are not being engaged or interested, but new-age technology and courseware can change that completely! Check out betterU’s wide collection of KG – Grade 12 courses to supplement your children’s learning experience and do better at school!