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How To Develop A Reading Habit In Children

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The term “habit” as per the Oxford dictionary, means something the one often does at regular intervals, sometimes even without consciously realising that they are doing it. In order to develop a reading habit in children, parents need to walk an extra mile and start reading to them before they learn to read by themselves. 

Children are so familiar with their mother tongue because it’s all they’ve been subconsciously soaking up since they are born. Similarly, if you, as a parent, wish to build good reading habits in your child, it is necessary that you feed them the habit since they begin to understand you. With the help of illustrated books these days, it’s way more easier, engaging and effective for children to learn and understand the words of a book. 

It is often found that working or busy parents complain of not having enough time to read to their kids. However, even if they could take out 20 minutes a day to read to their kids, this would actually emerge as the best gift to the young learners over time.

Ways to develop reading habits in children

Reading Aloud – Did you ever make your toddler read your mother tongue? I believe not. They are still learning and have probably become well-versed in their mother tongue. This is because they’ve been constantly hearing you speak aloud in that language. In the same way, if you read aloud to your kid from an early age, they’ll learn the new language through stories and illustrations along with enhanced learning skills. 

Set A Fixed Reading Time – An activity done everyday at a fixed point of time naturally emerges as a habit after a few months. Just like brushing their teeth early in the morning and before bed, taking a shower, and other daily activities fall into a routine, a reading habit developed over time by practicing at a fixed time daily can also emerge as a habit. This becomes unskippable after a point of time and the child starts enjoying reading.  

If a fixed reading time isn’t very convenient for you, you can try building a reading habit in them before or after their academic study-time. Besides helping them to learn different things, the habit also enhances vocabulary, sentence structuring, imagination and creativity and nurtures the ability to think critically. Solving problems of maths or practicing creative writing can also prove to be a boon later in life. 

Tips to help develop reading habits in children faster and easier

Find a cozy reading spot – Any activity when done in an ambience that facilitates enhanced concentration, makes it productive. Find your kid their special place in the house where they can read effectively with positive vibes catered for better absorption.  

Reading with a reading partner – Reading is always more effective when it can be explained to someone else. Humans are mostly judgemental, thus, a pet or a soft toy serves as a non-judgemental reading partner. This helps with confidence and also makes them feel important. 

Reading with a friend – Guided group studies are actually beneficial to the students. For the young learners, a themed party for book reading can emerge as a positive, value-enriched and enjoyable as well as an intellectual activity. Dressing as favourite characters from the book and even gifting books on birthdays are a good way of portraying the importance of healthy reading habits. 

Use books and avoid gadgets – It is obviously easier to engage young minds with videos on gadgets especially when their parents are occupied. However, this habit developed subconsciously over time can spur numerous unhealthy habits. It is thus advisable that you read to your kids from books or engage them with the same instead of simply handing over your phones or other gadgets.  

Be a role model – Kids imitate adults and that’s how they learn. If you impose reading habits on them and do not follow the same, chances are, they’ll take it all wrong. Model the right thing to them and watch them copy what you do happily. Read in front of them to make them understand that you follow what you preach.