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Monday, April 23, 2007

How to get your child to read books!

I have been reading books since my childhood. This habit of reading was instilled into me and my sisters by my father who himself is an avid reader. I remember as a child he used to bring comics, books etc. and read aloud to us at bedtime. I just loved that moment, the excitement of having another story being narrated and explained very patiently by my father! I would always look forward to those times!
I found books to be very intriguing and entertaining and interesting as there were very nice colorful pictures in some of them. I have been telling myself that when I have a child of my own, I will also try to get him interested in books! How to go about this? Well…. It’s very simple really! Follow the age old tradition.
When the child is a baby, you must show him all colorful pictures and talk to him. You can read aloud to a baby at any age! I know, you will wonder whether he understands anything or not. Not to worry! Research shows that reading to your child is a very healthy habit. It helps in many ways; one- it has a soothing effect on the baby, allowing him to relax at the sound of your voice, and it will put him to sleep. The baby feels safe and secure to hear the voice of his mother or father at bedtime. Second – the tone of your voice and modulation will make the child realize that you are saying something nice or scary, or exciting; depending on how well you read the story to him. Third – if you repeat this process and make a habit of it, soon you will realize that your child will start picking up books on his own to read! That is the most important time to encourage the child to go on! See that he doesn’t give up this habit. Last, but not the least, reading aloud will help your child to bond with you.
There are many hundreds of books for all age groups that are good reading. Try and select good books that help in teaching the child good language, manners, habits, virtues, morals etc. As the child grows and is beginning to get interested in books, see if you can visit a library or a good book shop along with him. Show him the library full of books to choose from, or pick up some interesting books from a bookstore. A library is the best place to take your child. This may inculcate the habit of going to a library to read books, which seems to be diminishing these days due to the presence of computers and internet at homes! However still, I believe that reading a book is a far better method of recreation. It helps you to relax your mind and also is a good source of information.

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