If your child is showing little passion in reading, there is hope. Occasionally parents have to get tricky, but you can still transform your child into a reader, even if he is reluctant about it.
As we parents all know, not everything in the world of parenting can be black and white. We have to find ways to delicately coax our children into understanding the ins and outs of many things. Why it has to be a certain way.
Why it’s important and can continue to help them in the long run.
No one ever said parenting was going to be easy, and, personally, I am not ashamed to say I may have used bribes and trickery to get my children to learn a few lessons along the way.
When it comes to reading, it’s one of my absolute favorite pastimes. Therefore, of course I am going to do whatever I can to attempt to cultivate avid readers. Is it fail-proof? No. But, it’s worth trying.
Here are just three ways to help inspire a love of reading in your children.
Early Bedtime Method
One of my favorite ways to get my children to read is something they, with any luck, will not figure out until they have kids of their own. Two words: Early Bedtime.
You may be asking yourself exactly how an increase in sleep can help your child invest even more time reading. Well, here’s the trick. Schedule their bedtime for 45 minutes to an hour before they need it’s time to turn their lights out.
A typical bedtime routine typically has the kids brushing their teeth and using the restroom. After that, you can sit and read stories together. This is all done prior to their official bedtime.
Then, you can provide them a choice. Simply say, “It’s time for bed. Would you like lights out or would you prefer to stay up and read for awhile?“
Unless they are truly exhausted, they’ll usually choose to read a little while, if for no other reason, as an excuse to stay up longer. You usually don’t have to plead nor influence their desire to keep reading longer.
In fact, they typically believe it’s their idea and they might actually grow to enjoy their new chance at a ‘late‘ bedtime. Now, sit back and ease off. Don’t make an effort to advise them whatsoever, nor help them select books.
This is their time. Allow them the freedom to develop their own love for books and steer their reading preferences, in age-appropriate books.
Let them choose whichever book they want and read it as long as they like until you tuck them in, kiss them goodnight, and switch off their lights.
Of course, if they would like you to stay and listen to them read, always let them know you’re more than thrilled to comply. Try it. It works.
Summer Reading Incentives
You can easily sign up for a summer reading program at pretty much any public library in the country. If your local library doesn’t have a summer reading program, then come up with one on our own, complete with incentives for reading books.
You can utilize a Monopoly, or Life, board game and allow your child to advance one space for each book they read.
Or, if you want to have even more fun, let them roll the dice each time they read a book and have rewards readily available for passing specific milestones.
Make sure the incentives are something truly desirable to your children.
If your child values time with you much more than material things, then set a specific date to spend time together doing their favorite things.
If they value a particular item, let them earn it. Or allow the opportunity to earn a chance to get out of their usual chores. Take them to their favorite restaurant.
Simply have a good time with it and they will too.
Read Book Before Movie
This is actually a standard practice in our house. We try not to go see a movie until we’ve read the book.
Admittedly, some movies have snuck up on us and we don’t always realize there’s a book until after the movie comes out.
Regardless if my husband and I read the book to the kids, or they read it alone, we like to see the movie after the book is read and discuss the creative liberties taken with the movie.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Three very easy ways to transform your child into a reader for life. Good luck!