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Developing a Reading Habit

Updated on August 20, 2010
Instill reading habits
Instill reading habits

With Internet, console video games and television surrounding children today, the whole idea of sitting down with a book has almost vanished. How do you get it back into your child?

It is very important to read into your child’s situation especially if your child isn’t doing much of reading. With the amount of console videogames, computers and television that children, today, are exposed to, it isn’t a surprise that reading is a dying habit.

Studies have shown that schools and teachers do not have as big an influence on children as parents & friends do. The people that children spend the most time with are the ones who govern their thoughts and directions in life. To be around people who propagate learning and reading is always a good thing for a child.

There are many benefits to picking up such reading habits, especially when it comes to matters that pertain to the child’s mental growth. Without a reading habit, a child can grow up with some difficulties, especially if in a line of work that requires reading at any level.

Reading Habits

A girl is reading for her blind friend
A girl is reading for her blind friend

WHY READ?

here are many reasons why children need to make reading a part of their lives. While most of them pertain to their future and, in some way, help the mental growth of the child. Along with growth, reading also stimulates the mind. However, the primary reasons to inculcate such a wonderful habit in your child are:

• An Active Mind: when you child picks up a book and reads, his mind receives stimulation. At a younger age, the books given to children contain colourful images and large fonts. This helps stimulate parts of the brain, especially those that deal with vision and creativity. Colours and large words have been scientifically proven to enhance a child’s attention and retention powers.

• Fundamental Skills: The first step towards a wonderful life is to build your child’s fundamentals. There is no better way of doing this than books. If it isn’t about the information that these books contain, then it is about the whole concept of reading. Children not only improve their attention span and concentration ability, they also improve their comprehension, reading speed as well as spelling & grammar.

• Improves Vocabulary: Reading different kinds of books as well as authors ensures that children are exposed to a wide universe that is diverse and exciting at the same time. There is absolutely no doubt that if allowed to, a book can widen a child’s horizon beyond all possibilities. Vocabulary, spelling and new words are just some of the wonderful gifts that a child can earn through these fantastic books.

• Concentration & Focus: when a child spends hours reading his favourite book, he is inadvertently learning how to keep her/his mind on something. While this may not seem like a conscious effort at the time, it automatically gives the child the ability to concentrate. Whether reading, learning or simply looking at pictures, the child’s mind learns to pay attention to the task at hand – an invaluable skill as they grow up with more distractions around them.

• Increased Self-Esteem: As a child reads books, s/he learns new things that give them more confidence in their ability. An increase in knowledge automatically makes the child feel more confident. The child finds a new love in books. With a steady companion for all times, children can easily make their world fuller and a better place as long as they have books to take them through.

• Memory Boost: As a child reads through books, they read along a storyline that holds meaning only if you remember what happened earlier along its path. This means that if a child is engrossed in a book right until the end, then s/he is surely aware of what happened in the beginning. In young children, such reactions are extremely admirable. While this is just one way to improve a child’s memory, it is the most fun way as not only does the child read a wonderful story but the better the story, the longer the child holds onto it in her/his mind. This is nothing but a memory and retention boost that children unknowingly acquire.

• Creativity: There is scientific evidence that colourful objects, even in books, invigorate a child’s mind. There is no limit to the creativity that mind can achieve, especially when it is untouched by real-world limitations. As parents, you may want your child to grow with a certain minimum level of intelligence in mind. Exposing her/him to books early on will get the child interested in colours, shapes and pictures. Storylines, when supported by pictures, allow children to imagine what the situation is like. For e.g. When a child sees the picture of a rabbit and then reads about it burrowing a hole in the ground, s/he can try to imagine the way it would look. This is invaluable compared to a television set that simply throws the image at the child.

• Expertise Builder: Books are not just about helping children grow. They are also about helping them hone their skills, even at an early age. Irrespective of the kind of interests a child has, reading more and more about them will help them develop a strong understanding of the subject matter and, therefore, develop a level of knowledge regarding the subject matter.

• Stress Buster: Books can be an incredible way to escape from your world, within your mind. Better than any drug on the market, books can take your mind completely away from all your worldly problems, into a whole new realm of limitless possibilities. This is something that is not just relevant to kids, but even to people of all ages who are willing to take their mind of troubles and stress.


Reading habit ... the road to literacy and knowledge

GETTING YOUR CHILD INTERESTED

There are numerous ways to get your child involved in books and begin enjoying the whole reading process. While they are young, getting exposed to books is the best way for them to pick up this wonderful habit. While in the case of really young children, you may have to take the initiative, in most cases a book that looks interesting will be picked up, without hesitation, by most children.

• Bed time Stories: For really young children associating awesome bedtime stories with books is the best way to get started. Simply read out to them, aloud, and with complete expressions and sounds. This will not only help them understand the story better, it also helps them create imagery within their head, enhancing their creativity. This association of images with words is the first step to moving on towards reading books.

• Reading Poems and Reciting Them: Poems are a great way to improve your child’s understanding of language and grammar. Poems always evoke thought and when reciting them with your child, you create this urge to understand, what they are saying, in them.

• Find out their interests: It is extremely important to know exactly what your child is looking for in books. Without you understanding their world, it is impossible for you to expect them to come into your world. So take the time to understand your child and make the most of this wonderful opportunity to get them to read.

• Keep it thin and colourful: when you child is just reading for the first time, make sure there are enough interesting things in them to make them want to keep at it. Fat books are a strict no-no, as are books without any pictures. If you even think of buying something like that, simply burn away that college fund because no child will read anything that isn’t colourful, doesn’t have pictures or isn’t readable in a short time. If you do want your child to read better books, be patient and it will come on its own.

• Read as a Family: Studies have shown that children mimic their family to a large extent. If they live in a family that breathes in front of the television, they will also end up doing the same. However, if you are a family that enjoys spending time together, especially when reading, your child will enjoy the experience even more. After all, what’s better than the entire family cuddled up in front of a fire, listening to a fantastic story that everyone can enjoy?

Reading is a habit that people generally develop at a young age. Adults are rarely known to pick up the habit if they haven’t as a child. As a parent, your role is to make the process as pleasant as possible for your child. Even if s/he doesn’t seem inclined towards reading at first, be persistent.

Spending time alone, with a book, is a much better way for a child to expand her/his horizons than sitting in front of the television or computer, playing games. You will find that there are few better ways to give your children a better life, than books.

Children Reading Books
Children Reading Books

Reading, Writing and Wellness

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Comments

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  • elfranzhappy profile image

    elfranzhappy 

    3 years ago from Philippines

    Informative and very useful!

    I am presently researching for good reading topics and fortunately I've found this one...Not only that I got tips on how to develop reading habit of my 5-year old daughter but also with this one, I was able to get some ideas to share with my classmates in the graduate school. Thanks!

  • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

    Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

    5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

    Excellent information and very useful too. It will benefit all if they give a serious read. I have given a link to this page on my recent hub. Thank you for sharing your knowledge here.

  • parrster profile image

    Richard Parr 

    7 years ago from Australia

    Brilliant hub. agree completely and all of my four children are avid readers. voted up and useful.

  • Mmiller_89 profile image

    Michael Miller 

    8 years ago from Las Vegas

    I really liked the part where you described reading as "better than any drug on the market," which is so true; reading really takes your problems away, even if it's only for a little while. For children, reading is such a crucial development tool. Thanks for the read.

  • NZUNG SERAPHINE profile image

    NZUNG SERAPHINE 

    8 years ago

    Nice hub.i love it.

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