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Positive Parenting: How to Encourage Your Child to Read

Updated on June 15, 2011
A selection of books from the library. Make the trip to the library like a field trip, and let your child explore.
A selection of books from the library. Make the trip to the library like a field trip, and let your child explore.

A child can travel to new places, meet new people, and learn about our world through reading. But for some children learning to read is a difficult task, and they have yet to discover the joys of reading. They need to be encouraged because they have yet to discover how enriching reading is. Adults, whether it be parents, teachers, grandparents, or mentors, can help children discover the joys of reading. Here are some helpful tips for turning kids on to books.

See more ideas on how to encourage children to read:

  • Surround children with reading materials. Make books readily available to the child. Whether it's comic books, magazines, graphic novels, or picture books, they all offer something for the child -- an opportunity to read. The more reading material available to the child, the more likely the child will read. As the child reads more, s/he will become a better reader and will natuarally want to spend more time reading. Remember to keep reading material in places that are accessible to the child -- the bathroom, kitchen, familyroom, even by the tv.
  • Schedule a reading fieldtrip on a regular basis. Go to the library or the used bookstore and let children browse. Help them find books that interest them. Plan these excursions frequently; it can be an event you child looks forward to with anticipation because it is a special time shared with you or the whole family.
  • Encourage your child to trade books with friends and talk about what they're reading.
  • Plan a special reading place with your child. Help your child create a comfy spot where s/he can curl up with a book. A beanbag chair, some floor pillows or a soft blanket may be helpful with creating this special place.
  • Consider giving your child a monthly book allowance. This money is used to purchase books or magazines only, but it gives the childa chance to choose something s/he likes so the child has a sense oif control. You probably will want to discuss a price limit before the child chooses the book, and secondhand bookstore offer a place to purchase quality books at cheap prices.

  • Keep a bag or books and reading activities in the car. This helps to keep your children entertained as you run errands or go on longer trips.
  • For holiday gifts and birthdays include books or magazine subscriptions. With the wide array of reading materials available, it's easy to find something appealing for every child.
  • On weekends allow children to stay up late one night to read in bed. THis can be another special treat children will look forward to with anticipation because it allows thewm to break the bedtime rule.
  • Let your child see you reading. You are the strongest influence in your child's life during the younger years. Allow them to see you enjoying reading; be a role-model
  • Don't force your child to read. It's hard to enjoy something if someone makes you do it. Allow your child to discover the joy of reading naturally when s/he is ready. By making a child read, you actually might discourage them, instead provide opportunity and encouragement.

Reading is a lifelong past-time that we should encourage as our children grow. Reading provides children with hours of education and enrichment, and adults should share reading with kids.


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    • PiaC profile image

      PiaC 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      My parents read a lot themselves. They never switched on the tv. I think i began to read out of boredom. I had to beg for books. they made a pretense of not wanting to buy them. To me, books were hard-won treats. It's only now I realize that a lot of this was designed to create a love of reading in me. It worked!

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image

      Julie A. Johnson 7 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Great ideas ladies. Thanks.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Both of us found that we could encourage our boys with non-fiction books or magazines on practical issues.

      Pat used to take her kids on a book shopping expedition prior to going on holiday, so that reading was part of the fun. Tricia was more economical and went to the library.