Reading books to children enriches their creativity. It opens the doors of imagination and visualization of what is being read. The brain is offered rich stimulation and thus enhances the creative thinking of a child. Books are friends for life. The best friend you can introduce to your child are books which are full of Language, vocabulary, knowledge, values, stories, Skills, etc. It’s common advice given by many around you, to introduce reading books to your child. But every parent knows how tough it is to make children read!
The most common challenges parents face in introducing reading habits to children include:
- No interest in reading books
- Doesn’t sit in one place for more than 5 minutes
- No focus, no concentration
- Wants to play all the time
- Struggles to sustain attention
- Can’t recollect what was read earlier
These challenges contribute to the cognitive aspects of the human mind. This forms one of the major elements of the human mind that relates to the mental process of perceptions, memory, retention, reasoning, judgements, sequencing, etc. One might also find similar complaints from school teachers. Most common censures from schools are low attention span in class, low concentration, difficulty in writing exams and many more.
Surprisingly, the symptoms aren’t the same when the child is engrossed in movies or games. Every child has his own way of perception. Visual, Auditory or Kinaesthetic are the main sensory receptors. Movies, cartoons, games, etc. come as a package of visual and audio treats. That’s the reason they are so attractive to children. One need not spend the time to think, perceive, or make judgements about things. The overexposure to mass media has led to cognitive distortions in children.
While on the other hand reading is a process where one has to put efforts to think, perceive and then understand what is being read. Hence the most ideal solution to overcome these hassles is to introduce the joy of reading to your child.
Start with these six steps to nurture a reading mind for your Kids
- Start early, start right. You can read to your child as early as you can. Infants enjoy books. So just grab a book to set as a habit to your child in the early years of brain development.
- Choose a perfect place and time. Ensure you use the same place and stick to the same time to begin the activity. Children love to follow time, and the same place builds positive energy around and helps in building a strong and enriching place. (Source: Shutterstock)
- Reading formulae: Use the AAA formula to begin with. 1) Read ALOUD: Read aloud to your child and let him listen, observe and eventually pay attention to what you are doing. We all know children are very good imitators then why hesitate to become an ideal role model. 2) Read ALONG: In the next step, you invite the child to read along with you. Help the child point out each word and pronounce every word correctly. Make the reading session as interesting as possible. 3) Read ALONE: by now you have empowered the child to read on his own. Do be with the child while he/she is reading and help over improvement points.
- Author your passion. Making your own book as an activity encourages the love for books. The enthusiasm and affection of something of your own have deep feelings of ownership, pride and pleasure. Collectively along with your child choose on a topic and get started. Make sure you involve your child in the process right from the scratch to the end. Dig out information on the topic. Frame your own sentences and collect images or draw it yourself. Give it an appropriate title and not to forget, mention the author’s name. I am sure this will be the most read book in your home library! Encourage your child to write down his thoughts and feelings. Short stories, poems can be written based on either small or big experiences with your child.
- Enact the stories you read with your child. This helps to keep the interests high. Taking up role plays keeps the child hooked on to the topic. Enacting each character gives a deeper feeling about the topic of discussion. Make it more creative and interesting by keeping the end in suspense and trying to bring different ideas/ options to an end the story.
- Be found Reading. Parents are the most intimate people to a child. Children are excellent observers and model everything they see. If a parent chooses to eat chips and watch movies with his child, the child will automatically follow the same. While if a parent decides to eat carrots and read a book! You know what is expected. So lead by example and be a right role model for your child.
Endorse the joy of reading to your child and create rich experiences!
Medha Kedar Tonapi