Trying to get your child to read can be difficult. No matter what their age, it can be a struggle. Giving them interesting topics can help, but one of the biggest steps you can take to get your child motivated to read is to be an example yourself. Seeing you read can be one of the biggest motivators a child can have.
Assess Your Own Reading
How often do you read? Jobs do interfere as well as other things in an adult’s life. If your child does not see you ever reading, what is motivating them? Absolutely nothing.
When a child sees their parent reading and enjoying it, they want to know what is so exciting between those pages. They begin to search out books and begin to devour them the way their parent does. Parents have amazing influences over their child and their habits.
Are you reading every chance you get? Do you talk about how much you enjoyed the book? Do you compare books to movies? Reading and talking about what you are reading are the hooks to get a child interested.
One of the largest obstacles adults face is life. There are all those jobs and family matters. I find myself running to work early in the morning, running to pick up kids, going to ballgames, getting ready for school concerts, getting dinner on the table and making sure the dogs are let out. Let’s not forget doctor appointments and the periodic bug that sweeps through the house. Where does reading fit in? Believe it or not, you can get a lot of reading in while doing all that. You just need to be deliberate and strive to improve your own reading.
What can you do to improve your own reading to be such a good example? Here are a few ideas to help you get reading back into your busy schedule.
How often do you have magazines arriving in the mail? Do you buy them often? Get some various magazines coming in and keep them around the house. As you drink your morning coffee, read a magazine or scan a newspaper. Place magazines in the living room, the bathroom, next to your bed, in the car, or keep one in your purse or briefcase.
These are generally colorful with lots of images. Magazines and newspapers are designed to catch the eye with images and startling headlines. Let your child see you reading them. Discuss something you are reading that they might find interesting even it is about the next Marvel movie.
You are running here and running there. When you do have time to read, there is not a book to be found. Be deliberate. Keep books placed in strategic locations so that you can pick up one and read at any time. Keep one in your purse so when you are stuck at the doctor’s office you can spend a few minutes (or hours) reading as you wait. Keep one in your car, at your desk, or by your favorite chair.
Be very deliberate and keep a digital reader around or download the app onto your phone. I take my cell phone nearly everywhere so I can be reading anywhere within seconds. Seeing how reading fits into today’s high technology can be an appealing aspect to your child who probably is heavy into the tech world.
Relax with a Book
Got a few minutes to sit and breathe? Relax by sitting in the swing and reading a book. Try a quiet moment next to the crackling fire. You can even read a book while listening to your favorite music. Be deliberate in reading while you are relaxing. This shows that it can be fun and not a struggle for you.
Show that you can relax by not just watching TV. You can relax and read at the same time. Show how much fun it can be. They’ll be watching.
Shop at a Bookstore
As you are going about your errands and even shopping, include a bookstore. Take the time to browse the aisles and pick up a new book or two. If your child is with you, they can see how books are more than boring shelves of monotonous colors. There is a lot of activity within a bookstore that might surprise your child.
Wander through the store and check out the novelties and interesting book sections. There might be genres and styles your child never imagined until they see it in the store.
Spend a Saturday at the Library
Don’t always spend Saturday watching television. Go to the library and relax reading a new mystery novel. Introduce your child to the fun things that can happen at a library and how it can be a place to escape from life.
The library isn’t the quiet, boring place you might remember it as. There is life there in so many cool things to do. Check out what your library has going for it.
When your child sees you enjoying a book and always with something to read, they will also want to read. Children learn by example. Get back into reading and show them that it is a wonderful world of adventure and relaxation.