Raising Readers: How to encourage children to read from an early age?

In a world controlled by electronics and screen time, Raising Readers has become more important than ever. We often see children being handed iPads and tablets at a very young age but hardly any toddlers are seen going through books which says enough about how problematic it is.

Recently, this discussion was brought to #bookayParents on the Facebook group Bookay. Parents from all over Pakistan helped each other out by sharing stories of how they raised their children with a habit of reading.

Raising Readers – When to Start?

Every parent has a different parenting technique. However, the most common answer to the “When to start?” question was: as early as you possibly can. Some started before their baby was even born! They would read their own books out loud so that the baby would get used to it. Others found out that getting bath books, board books or cloth for babies and toddlers have positively impacted their relationship with books.

How to make children enjoy reading books on their own?

A habit that is forced never stays. The more a person is forced to do something, the more he wouldn’t want to do it. It’s important that children want to read by themselves. There are many ways to try to do that. A lot of parents felt that reading books in front of their kids has encouraged them to read too; since children usually do what they see adults doing in front of them. So try setting an example! Limiting the use of electronics by the entire family has also proven to be effective.

Many parents suggested that Raising Readers requires exposure. They pointed out how they often take children to book fairs and libraries. One particular parent talked about how she always puts a limit to the amount of books her children can buy as it makes them respect and value those books. It is also important to give them the freedom of choice in selecting their own book. (It’s okay if you end up with an entire library about dinosaurs like one of the mother’s in Bookay!) Having a discussion about your child’s favourite book can make them want to read even more. Family time once a week could include a book discussion by each member of the family!

Importance of starting early

Daastan believes that books will always remain integral to our growth. Reading is something you can’t escape no matter how hard you try. So while you’re at it, might as well have fun! Developing a habit of it, would make it much easier and it might not even feel like work anymore.

If you are also having a hard time Raising Readers, Head over to the children section at meraqissa to order books to read with your little ones. Happy reading to everyone!

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