Is that possible? I only learnt this when I became a parent for the second time, from my own mistakes.
Your kid will spend the entire afternoon kicking football or playing with the blocks, solving puzzles or in the dollhouse. He will do everything except read a book. You can’t believe this has really happened but somehow your kid hates reading.
You may initially find it difficult to believe what I am saying but it is possible that your own mistakes may be the reason why your child is not taking to reading. I faced this with my own first born and I feel sorry to see so many mothers around me who would love their child to develop a love for reading but struggle really really hard due to simple oversights.
Like one of the most glaring mistakes we all make is – we read to the child and not WITH him. So we pick a book and read in a boring tone. Like a one way monologue. There is no involvement from the child, he is just listening. Reading is not supposed to be a monologue, at least with young children. It should be a dialogue where you stop after every few lines to engage in a 2 way conversation with your child. You live the story on the page via gestures, voice modulation and maybe roleplay .
Take this example –
When you read TO the child you say: Once upon a time there lived a Lion in a jungle
When you read WITH the child you say: Onnnccce upon a TIME, there lived a MIGHTY Liiiiooon in a JUNGLE! ROOOOAR! GRRRRRRR
When you read to them, it becomes a chore. Just another thing that they are being made to do. But when you read with them, they find it exciting, they get engrossed, they mentally visually the scenes, they are transported into the imaginary world of the story that you are reading.
Not reading age appropriate books is another very common mistake most of us end up making. A Tenali Rama for a 3 year old could be too much lesson in moral science which he may find plain boring. It may be too much text for his age and the pictures may be too bland for a 3 year old’s liking. Likewise a Thomas book may be too early for a 2 year old. You may find Books That Got My 2 Year Old Into The Habit Of Reading useful.
Selecting age appropriate and good quality books for you kids will be key to developing a love for reading. Atleast till the age of 7 or 8. Also please don’t force your kids to read books they don’t like to read. One simple tip is to NOT buy the whole bundle of fairytales books at one go. That’s plain marketing tactic by the publisher to increase the ticket size of their sale. Experiment with a wide range of series and understand what kind of books your child fancies. For my second child I ended up reading every single book of Oliver Jeffers and Julia Donaldson but he just did not take to Dr Suess series.
Though this was not the reason in my case, easy access to mobile phone, iPads or TV as a pastime can be the strongest contender to sitting down with a book. Though a small amount screentime, say 30 mins maybe good or even necessary for a few, establishing a screentime routine maybe in general be beneficial for overall development and well-being of the child.
When I became a parent for the second time, I had ofcourse learnt from my own mistakes. I can say, I was a smarter parent second time around. I stopped picking books randomly. And it’s from my own experiences, my ups and downs, and my eventual success with raising 2 readers, I have curated a list of books for each age category.
Book List For 4 Year Olds Who DONT Like To Read (Coming Soon)
Book List For 3 Year Olds (Coming Soon)
5 Self Reading Books Every 6 Year Old Must Have (Coming Soon)
Image : grandparents