Do you love to read? When is the last time you sat down and spent an hour fully immersed in a good book? If you do love to read, take a minute and think about exactly where you picked up that love? What memories do you have of being a young child, cracking the spine of an old favorite with a beloved parent or caregiver? Reading makes us who we are, and in today’s distracted and digital world, it seems to be becoming somewhat of a lost art.
This all begs the important questions: how do we, as parents, pass reading on to the next generation? When it comes to one’s children, how does one ensure that reading can compete with distractions like smart phones and cartoons? In a word, we believe the answer to be “engagement.” Let’s take a closer look at just what we mean by that.
The Key To Engagement
Part of keeping kids engaged in simple things like reading, as off-putting as it might sound at first, often involves eliminating more distracting (and less productive) stimuli. Having a television and an xbox in a child’s room may make them happy in the short term, but there is a school of thinking which would debate that these devices create a lifestyle in which short term distraction takes precedence over deeper focus.
Another thing we recommend is that, once a child is a few years into their education, you encourage them to pick out their own reading material. This doesn’t mean that a good bit of curation won’t be necessary on the part of the parent, and you’ll want to make sure that things like reading level are taken into consideration. However, we all too often tend to force-feed certain books to our young people, leaving them disgruntled and dissatisfied with reading, viewing it more as a chore than what it really should be: a rewarding, long term pleasure.
Seek Positive Associations With Reading
It should go without saying that it is our job as educators and caregivers to make sure that reading is a net positive emotional experience for a young child. We want to be careful and instill a sense of confidence, of enjoyment, and of pleasure in our young readers. We do this by giving high praise for effort, and rewarding progress in a positive way.
Lastly, we’d like to suggest one of our personalized children’s storybooks. These books, tailored to your child, represent a great way to engage the young reader. When your child reads a story in which they figure prominently, you’ll often find that their desire to focus and find out more becomes instantly enhanced. Check out store page for some cool ideas and storybook designs.
Giving your child the gift of reading is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. The habit itself is one that will stand a young person in good stead throughout their academic and intellectual lifetime!