There are children who learn to read years before starting school, can’t leave the book with hours and are as excited by the read story as by receiving a long-awaited new toy. It is entirely up to you as a parent to stimulate the intellectual development of your child. Veneta Neynska, Modo’s Artistic Director and a mother of a reading child, shares Part 2 of her ideas of how to instil a lifelong love for books:
9. The book as a reward - if you are happy with your child’s behaviour during the day, the reward can be two fairy-tales or the opposite – no fairy-tale as a punishment.
10. Respect the reading person – don’t interrupt your child when he/she starts to read or look at picture books. Be patient more than you are towards any other activity. Never laugh at your child for reading – even well-intentionally.
11. Don’t cut on buying new books – offer a book instead of ice-cream. Don’t be mad when your child asks for a new book as you might be when he/she requests another toy. Demonstrate the belief that books are valuable, not just ordinary objects.
12. Reading is not a mischief – don’t scold your child if he/she lost track of time in reading and forgot to do something.
13. Be tolerant – don’t make your child read the books you like him/her to read. Make a suggestion but if it is refused – accept it. Children are often scared of the unknown and the new. They just need time to overcome their lack of trust. If Pippi and Tom Soyer are your favorite childhood characters, don’t expect your child to feel the same. Leave the young reading person to shape their opinion independently. Allow him/her to read everything he/she likes, including your own books.
14. Food for both the mind and the body – try to teach your child to find enjoyment in reading but also in food. The habit of watching movies online while eating is not a healthy one. The mechanical consumption of food is best friends with the mechanical consumption of information. Both will substantially decrease your child’s curiosity, energy and creativity.
15. Show interest – listen to your child when he/she tells you about a book even if his/her observations are not that intriguing to you. Show him/her in every way you can think of that reading and perception of the read information are important, valuable and honourable activities.
Reading will also benefit from:
- lack of TV at home
- a space for the books in the child’s room where they can be stored at an easy reach for the child
Did you miss Part 1 of “How to Make Your Child Read with Pleasure”? Read it here.