It is always satisfying for parents to have kids love reading especially that we live in this modern world where resources and ideas are printed into useful books. Making kids love reading is not something you can do instantly. Nightly story reading sessions may not always work.
But here are some tips that will help your kids have a lifelong love for reading:
1. Start them young
Even before a baby can understand or speak words, identify shapes or colors, it is a valuable bonding to read to them. Aside from being familiar with your voice, you can use this as a practice session of how creative you can be during a story reading session as your kid grows older.
2. Make a mini library
Yes, your kids will definitely have their own favorite book but having a stack of books to choose from makes reading more interesting to them. They will learn new characters, new words and different genres.
3. Make sure the books are age-appropriate
Sure kids love that “happily ever after theme” but, little ones are more fascinated by fairy tales than romance novels. You may want to start with books that have more illustrations and simpler words for toddlers. Illustrations can help them understand the story better and make the book interesting. Give them books that have stories with moral lessons so they’ll have a grasp of the values taught.
4. Be involved
Your reading sessions do not only end with “The end.” Aside from reading to your kids, you may want to answer questions that may come along the way. You can explain to them words or situations that they might have difficulty understanding. Make sure when you read to them, read the lines as if you are in that story and not in a monotonous tone. Let them visualize. Let them imagine.
5. Identify your kid’s interest
Reading may not always be fun for kids but if you will find it easier for them to pick that book and read it if the topics or title really interests them. Eventually, they will want more other topics until you realize that they become interested in a wide array of genres.
6. Share ideas
Reading the same book and sharing ideas about it is really the best way to get kids interested. They may be amused by how you interpret the content. They will want to know more about what you think about the book.
7. Influence but do not force them
A lot of book-lover parents will always want their kids to be the same as them. It is not helpful to force your kids to read. It is better to show them why you love reading. You may inject some parts of the book you have read during casual conversations or at the dinner table. This may stir their curiosity and start the habit of reading.
There is no rigid way to get your kids to love reading. You may have done everything but they still show interest in other hobbies. Your kid may be really good with some other stuff than reading. What is important is we guide and support them. Influence and not force. Inspire and not impose.