The advantages of reading are numerous and varied. Apart from being one of the greatest learning tools, reading is also a popular kind of entertainment and the easiest way to escape from daily routine. But this is what reading looks like to adults, not kids. In the case of little human beings, it might be challenging to help them see the beauty of reading and encourage them to make it an inherent part of their life.

The good news is that even if your child doesn’t seem to be interested in reading at the moment, it doesn’t mean there is nothing you can possibly do to change the situation for better. In fact, there are dozens of tried-and-true ways to encourage children to read, and below you will find some of the most efficient ones.

At the outset, remember that children’s attention span is shorter than the one of the adults. It’s been scientifically proven that the attention span of kids gets longer with age. Thus, if your child is under 6, do not expect him or her to read a book for half an hour without getting distracted. If you want your child to become a book lover one day, don’t push it too hard. Start with small steps such as 10-15 minutes of reading per day, and extend this timeframe when you see that it’s the time.

What’s more, you should not expect your child to love reading for the sake of reading. This kind of feeling is more typical for adults. What is wise to expect, however, is that your kid will love particular stories, characters, or types of books and, eventually, over the course of years, this love will transform into the love to reading in general.

In light of this, it’s good to try to find books that your kid will be especially interested about. If you have no idea which books to start with, remember that the recent Harry Potter phenomenon demonstrated that virtually all kids love stories about wizards, while nature and space (beautifully-illustrated books about the universe or books explaining the anatomy of flowers), and unreal creatures (something about dragons would be a good choice) are also perennial favourites.

Another great way to encourage your kids to read is to attach reading to one of the daily traditions your child already has and loves. For instance, if your kid loves it when you kiss him/her goodnight and tell a fairy tale, you can easily replace or transform this tradition into reading one. Pick some nice books along with you next time you’ll come to your child’s bedroom for a goodnight kiss. Instead of starting to tell a fairy tale or read out loud, tell your kid that you’ve had a long day and would really like to listen to a story, not to read one. This might entice your child to express compassion and read to you. The following day, you might suggest your kid reading together (one page for you, and one page for your kid). The goal is to keep it game-like. This way, step by step, reading may become your child’s second nature.

Reading is obviously one of the greatest forms of entertainment and education all rolled into one, and it is completely natural for you as a parent to want your child to be an active reader. However, keep in mind that there is a time for everything. Therefore, a smart approach would be avoiding excessive pressure and letting your child get engaged with reading at his or her own pace.


About the Author: Scott Reddler is an active software developer, water sports fan, and a loving and enthusiastic father of three. He uses his knowledge of new technology to understand how social media and apps are changing the parenting landscape. He enjoys taking his children out for boat rides and exploring his lovely state of Florida.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash