Jaishree decided to accept the fact that although she followed every recommendation in the book to encourage children to read, her daughter did not pick up the reading habit. A voracious reader herself, this was something that was extremely difficult for her to accept. But having hit a wall, she succumbed to the feeling that she can’t do anything more. Her daughter did not like reading the way she did. Period.
What did she do to encourage her daughter to read?
- She read to her every night
- She drove her to storytelling sessions, even if they were far away.
- She took her daughter to libraries and bookshops. She asked the child to choose books.
- She left books at arm’s length everywhere in the house
- Being an avid reader herself, her daughter saw her read everyday.
What went wrong?
- She expected her daughter to pick up reading as she enjoyed it and wanted her daughter to be the same.
- She insisted on the child reading on her own after she turned 6. She got upset each time when the child said that she did not want to read on her own.
- She felt peer pressure. As adults we too succumb to peer pressure. When you see you friend’s children reading Harry Potter where as your child who perhaps is comparable in age does not want to move away from comics and videogames.
- She did not give the child enough time to learn the new task. Reading is after all a difficult skill. Try learning a new language and try reading fluently right away. Can you do it?
What does research say?
- Children are afraid to read on their own
- They worry that they will be quizzed later
- They worry that they will be criticised, worse get laughed at.
- They hate it when they are compared
- They feel peer pressure and try to avoid reading when they fall behind in comparison to peers.
- They are yet to find books that capture their imagination.
Books and blogposts on the subject of children reading can only give us generalised tips. However it is up to each one of us as parents to devise a way that is suitable to our child. It is a trial and error method. Some methods may work while others may not. Every child is different. Approach to independent reading therefore varies too.
If you would like to contribute about your experience with enabling your child to read on his or her own, for pleasure, please feel to write to me at email@example.com. Your experience might just help someone who is working hard to enable their children to enjoy reading.
If you would like to be part of a reading community that discusses about making reading fun for children, MerryGoBooks has a quickly growing community on Facebook- THE READING JOURNEY. Please feel free to join in and talk about your experiences in this regard, ask for book recommendations, suggestions to get your child interested in reading and so on. Looking forward to seeing you there.