If your child does not like to read, you want to ease him/her into the process through good reading habits.
Ideally, these habits will take shape over time and your child starts picking up that book on their own. Here are three tips to help kick off this process.
#1 - Set Aside Reading Time
Have a discussion with your child to set aside a particular time slot to read every day.
This slot can be a short five to ten minutes in the beginning. As reading becomes part of the daily routine, increase the period of the slot progressively. This will help him/her pick up the habit of reading at a comfortable pace, without the dreadful feeling of it being a 'insurmountable challenge". A popular timeslot among parents is before bedtime, since both child and parents are free to participate.
#2 - Create a Reading Space at Home
Assigning an area in your house as a reading space is another good way to kick start the habit of reading. This reading space does not have to be arranged with big bookshelves or armchairs. It can just be a corner of your child’s bedroom.
What is more important is to ensure that there is sufficient light and enough room for a comfortable rug or a cushion.
The sense of coziness coupled with the constant sight of a couple of interesting reads will surely entice your child to pick up the books to read. (Find out more about interesting reads in this article)
#3 - Read with your child
Role-modelling is one of the best ways to get your child to read. It is important that your child sees you reading if you want him/her to pick up the habit.
When you sit and read next to your child during those dedicated reading slots, you not only show your child how it is done but you also make your child understand the importance of reading. Your child will also feel that the reading slot is time he/she gets to spend with you and not see it as an activity that is done alone. This will eventually make your child see reading in a positive light. It can even become quality bonding time for both of you.
Ultimately, reading should not be "forced" but rather inculcated for it to sustainable. Create a cozy environment and progressively introduce it as routine. You also want to frame it as quality parent-child bonding time, which can help you understand your child in a more meaningful way. We hope these tips can be the first step towards building that healthy reading habit!