Effective Ways to Encourage Good Reading Habits in Your Children

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When it comes to important life skills, few are more essential than basic literacy. People who have trouble with reading and writing often encounter problems throughout both childhood and adulthood. Subpar literacy can make getting through school and navigating the working world an absolute nightmare. That being the case, every parent should make a point of encouraging healthy reading habits in their children. Even if your kids aren’t crazy about reading, the following tips can help nudge them in the right direction. 

Imposing Daily Reading Periods 

If simple encouragement has proven ineffective, you may need to make daily reading mandatory. While this is liable to make reading seem like a chore at first, it shouldn’t take your kids long to become engrossed in their reading material. However, this isn’t to say that you should require your children to devote copious amounts of time to reading each day. More often than not, 30 minutes to a full hour per day should be enough to get your kids into the habit. 

Although the designated reading period can occur at any time throughout the day, it’s often most effective right before bedtime, as reading can calm the mind and set the stage for a peaceful night’s rest. Still, if your kids feel like getting it out of the way in the morning or right after getting home from school, there’s no reason to refuse. As long as the reading gets done, it shouldn’t matter when.   

Selecting Interesting Reading Material 

One of the most effective ways to get kids interested in reading is providing them with reading material they find interesting. With this in mind, make regular trips to your local library and/or bookstore and encourage your children to pick out books that appeal to their personal tastes. Being given the freedom to choose their own books is likely to make reading seem like less of a punishment in their eyes, thereby making them more amenable to the idea of daily reading. Of course, this isn’t to say that you should take a completely hands-off approach to choosing your children’s reading material. To ensure that your kids always have a steady supply of age-appropriate reading material on hand, invest in a system of leveled books.     

Creating a Designated Reading Area 

Concentrating on a good book has become more difficult than ever. With smartphones, computers and countless other digital distractions vying for our attention, staying focused on a single task can be an uphill battle. Given how susceptible many adults are to these distractions, there’s little wonder as to why kids have similar issues with concentration. With this in mind, take care to create a designated reading space in your home. This space should contain no televisions or computers and be a phone-free zone. Reading is best done in a relaxed atmosphere, and creating such an environment can prove difficult if there are screens everywhere.    

Setting a Good Example 

For better or worse, most children imitate the behaviors they see their parents engage in. As such, if you rarely pick up a book, your kids are likely to adopt a similar approach to reading. Additionally, trying to impose daily reading periods on your children may prove challenging if your reading habits could use some work. For this reason, it’s important for parents to set a good example when trying to get children interested in reading. When visiting the library or bookstore, your kids should see you picking out books, and when you’re at home, they should see you reading them. In fact, if your schedule allows, you should read with your kids during their daily reading period. This will make reading seem like less of an obligation and more like a relaxing family activity.

In the absence of basic reading abilities, children are guaranteed to have a hard time getting through school and finding rewarding careers. While it’s never too late to improve one’s reading comprehension, developing solid literacy skills at any early age can prove particularly beneficial. As such, encouraging children to read should be a priority for every parent. If your kids have thus far proven unreceptive to the idea of reading on a regular basis, the previously discussed pointers are sure to come in handy.

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