For the love of humanity, happiness, intelligence and all that is good, please encourage children to read!
Whether it is your child, sibling, nephew or cousin, you have the responsibility to introduce them to the world of books.
How were you encouraged to read as a child or what difficulties have you found when trying to get children to read?
Many people tend to blame ‘technology’ for reducing the amount of time children spend reading but the fact is children are just not being encouraged enough. One issue is the age at which they start reading. Children have to realise the joy of reading from a young age as it is the thrill that comes from reading their first enthralling book that will allow them to turn their backs on an iPad and read instead.
We can admit that yes, technology is extremely attractive and seems more ‘cool’ but if a child already knows the enjoyment and pleasure reading gives before being introduced to the world of technology then they will be more likely to read throughout their lives. However, to persuade a child to read after they have already become engrossed in the world of gadgets and games is terribly difficult.
As adults – and I am talking to teenagers as well when I say this – we have a responsibility to introduce books to children. Even if you do not enjoy reading yourself or you weren’t encouraged to read much when you were young, you must still influence the children in your lives to read.
Well the obvious reason is books help to develop a child’s imagination but not only that, they also help develop their style of writing and vocabulary. This is something which has to be nurtured for a long time and comes from reading hundreds of books, not merely one or two throughout the year. Just yesterday at the tuition centre where I work, I met a student who was barely twelve years old yet had a great grasp of English. I showed him a list of books that I had written up for students and he had read nearly all of them. On the other hand, a student who was three years older was on a far lower level and did not read at all.
Now there may be other factors which cause this of course but a common denominator in students I have met that excel in English is that they love to read. Their command of the language is far better than those who do not read as they appear to subconsciously take in and learn how words are used. This is what makes great writers stand out from the rest.
How Can We Encourage Children To Read?
You have to spend time with them when they are young, taking them to libraries, reading with them and reading to them. Children can easily fall in love with a story but they need to be given them. This means their interests need to be analysed and whatever book they find enjoyable, they should be allowed to read it while they are young even if you think it is not particularly great. As they grow and reach the age of 7-8, you can steer them gently towards more complex books and perhaps even grant a reward for finishing them.
The important thing about children reading books is that they should be discussed. In the same way that games, movies and TV shows are talked about, you must have a conversation about the books they read. This will make them want to read more as they know it is something you can bond over.
Finding the right kinds of books for a child is important as thrusting one they dislike into their face and ordering them to read will only push them away from reading. Do some research, think about the books you read as a child and why you enjoyed them. There are millions of books available and for many of us, they do not cost anything as we can just pop down to the local library. Trust me, the time you spend encouraging your child to read will be repaid when you see them intently reading for hours on end or when you see an open book beside their head in the morning.
If you would like me to post a list of recommended books for children and teenagers to read, then let me know 🙂
Please, spread the need to read.
A Worried Student