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The not so easy steps to make children read books

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My children don’t read at all – a common complaint that I hear from parents makes me wonder

My children don't read at all – a common complaint that I hear from parents makes me wonder. Do the parents read? In today's world when the children's are invariably spending much time looking at the screen of every kind, what does reading do.

Reading among other things improves vocabulary, thinking skills, and concentration. It makes an individual more sensitive, more perceptive of the world around and reading also improves IQ and EQ. Reading is therapeutic, and as you read a book, you tend to create your own visual and that improves your creativity and gives you a world view that is your own and a person who reads books has the ability of develop independent thinking; much needed in today's social-influencer driven world.

Now, I ask this question, how many of you read. How many amongst you have made an effort to buy books and kept them around you?

When as adults we do not read, there is a very little chance that the kids will imbibe the habit. Like in everything else; it is only through practice can you preach to your children. You can only teach through example.

How to make your children read:

First step is to ensure the kids are surrounded by age- specific books that they would like to read. Young kids will love pictorial books. Older kids and pre – teens usually like to read books of adventure etc., graphic novels, super heroes; there is an amazing choice. Young Adults is a genre which the publishing houses are focusing on diligently. All you need to do is look around, find out, ask for recommendations and buy the books and keep them around. Today e-book is also an option, but since it only adds to the screen time; a physical copy is a good deviation.

One common mistake parents make is do moral policing in the choice of books. Many parents I have seen buy what according to them are inspirational books or autobiographies of great leaders which they think are what the kids must read to become better people. It is a good idea. But, one thing you must remember is you may be able to force kids to read – in which case there is a danger that the kids begin to hate the whole concept of reading, but you can never force upon them the choice of reading. Instead, buy the books and keep them around. If the kids is young enough to listen, may be reading together is a good idea. Kids love to read comics, so a pictorial biography of a great person may still be a better idea.

Start young. As the kid grows it becomes as much more difficult to create a new habit. So begin when they are young. Read to them, read together, discuss a book – A young mind is open to ideas, and are eager to follow your ideas. Teenagers are usually harder nuts to crack. Guide them and suggest books, don't force your choices on them.

Make it a daily chore, keep it short in the beginning, read aloud to them or you even can try audio books for teenagers or older kids.

Try and create a favourite reading corner. Do it together, make it a fun task that you do together. Why don't children read? Because they find reading boring: Find a subject or a topic that interests them and try and find a book that feeds this interest.

In the end, no habit is made in a day. It takes patience and perseverance – be at it, and let it be a natural progression with a bit of push from your side.

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