Introducing fiction to kids at an early age might be the easiest way to inculcate reading habit in kids. An article in Guardian.com enlists the importance of reading without any restriction.
In our quest to introduce the right books to our kids we might be leaning towards killing their interest in reading. If there is a book out there and a kid shows interest towards it –he should be encouraged to read it. As long as we follow the age appropriate material rule-any and all books are worth reading. Many parents are forcing the kids to read classics or a particular author without any result. The first step towards developing the habit is to introduce books and lots of books to the children. It doesn’t matter if the book does not have Shakespearean language or have a moral to follow –if the story is appealing to the kid –the book is worth reading. If your kid loves “captain underpants” books or probably fancies ghosts stories-so be it –for the love of reading we should be embracing one and all.
Research has proved that reading fiction has immense benefits- one of them being –it helps with creative thinking. People who read fiction are able to empathize better, have a better understanding of people and environment and in general are able to cope better in adverse situations. It is difficult to develop the habit of reading fiction in adulthood –that is why the steps have to be taken when the kids are young-as young as two year old. If the kid is not ready to read on his own, parents should read to them.
Every year, countless children, all over the world graduate from high school, without developing the love for reading. It’s a shame because reading might be the only way towards knowledge, betterment and growth.
While encouraging the kids to read fiction might be perhaps the easiest way to develop the habit there are few things parents could do to make reading like a second habit.
- Set an example: If the kids see the parents enjoying reading –they will learn to love reading too. There are many parents who never pick a book to read but expect the kids to read Dickens and Rowling – nothing wrong with the expectation-just that the task to teach the kids to read becomes harder. It is never late to pick up a good habit.
- Have lots and lots of books at easy reach- whether you like electronic books or prefer the standard ones-have lots of books around the house –within easy reach of the kids.
- Visit the library – Make it a weekly activity to visit the library with the kids. It might require special effort in the first few weeks if you are starting out on this-soon a time will come when the children will be forcing you to take them to the library.
Start early , start soon . As Confucius once said – “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”