Parentree is an online parenting community, where parents from all over the country come together to clear their doubts, share their wisdom and sometimes, vent through blogs. Recently, Bhim, a parent, brought up a very valid issue that most parents with growing children face – how to get their kids to read. Bhim says that his son is a TV addict and that though he buys plenty of books from Sapna Book House every week, his son does not like to read them. Parents from all over the country have responded giving him comments and sharing their own experiences of getting their kids to read.
Quite a few parents including Madhuu and Rukmini insist that reading for kids is not for kids alone. When you go book shopping, take your son or daughter with you so that you can get them the books they want to read, rather than the books you want them to read. Sit with your child when he’s reading. You don’t need to explain everything, clarifies Rukmini, for then, the child will stop reading and will wait for your explanations. Rukmini takes it one step further – disconnecting the cable for about 10 days. When there is no other form of entertainment, she says, the child will look to books for entertainment. This also means that you, as a parent setting an example, should not watch too much TV. Let your child watch TV if he or she wants to, but make sure they turn it off as soon as the program they want to watch is over.
Roses suggests you take your child to places where there are kids with books. “Kids are pack followers,” she says, adding that she takes her children to libraries, story reading sessions and book stores, and gets them to interact and make friends with other kids who love to read. Gayathrisury had another good suggestion – her daughter’s school (in Chennai) had an exchange program with the British Council, where each child within the 5 – 8 age group had to finish 6 books in 2 months. None of the children (except some of the 8 year olds) finished, says Gayathrisury, but it instilled the reading habit in the children. She claims she sees a difference in her own daughter, who now picks up books to read, as well as newspapers.
If you want to know more about what each parent said, or if you want to add your suggestions to the list of how to get kids to read, click here.