Advertising
Advertising

3 Essential Ways to Help Your Kids Love Reading As Much As You Do

3 Essential Ways to Help Your Kids Love Reading As Much As You Do

Reading opens our eyes to many different adventures and lifestyles that we may never experience any other way. It can take us to other lands and help us really use our imagination. However, as someone who loves to read, how do you pass along this passion to your child? How do you help your kids find as much joy in reading as you do?

First of all, it is a really good idea to just surround them with books and help make reading a positive experience for them to share with you. Here are some other great ideas to help you teach your kids how to love to read.

Advertising

Read to Them

Start reading to your children as soon as you possibly can. You will definitely be surprised by how much of a difference this can make. Even when they are a new born you can invest in sturdy baby board books and talk to them about the pictures. At this point, actually reading the words on the page is not completely necessary. As they grow a bit older most babies still won’t sit still long enough to listen to a book and this may frustrate parents.

However, be sure to sit with them and name the items on the pages. As their attention span lengthens, you may be able to actually start reading to them. After short stories with pictures, you can introduce books with short, engaging chapters. Discuss the characters and what you are reading about even when you aren’t sitting with the book. That can really help increase comprehension.

Advertising

Read With Them

bedtime
    Image via buzzpo.com

    Once your child learns to read for his/herself, don’t turn them loose! Pick books with easy words and read with them. Try having them read one sentence or paragraph and you read the next. Once they have mastered paragraph reading, move on to pages. Help with words that are difficult and gently correct misspoken words. Encourage them to sound out unfamiliar words, but stop if you seem him becoming frustrated.

    This should be an enjoyable time for both of you, separate from homework or other schoolwork. You can also allow them to go to the bookstore or library and pick books that interest them. You may even want to suggest different genres to see where their interests lie.

    Advertising

    Read Around Them

    Children who see their parents read are more likely to see reading as a desirable activity. Keep age level appropriate books for each member of the house readily available at all times. Also, if you have a really great interest in books you could even get your masters in library science. That way you could work at a library and be able to share your great knowledge of books with your children. This would also help show them how much reading really means to you.

    If possible you could create a family library in your house. Maybe you could even make a family reading nook where family members can read together and enjoy each other’s company. You may even want to discuss the books that you are reading with your children. If there is a portion that might interest them, tell them about it! Even if it’s just a big dog that reminds you of fluffy, you can engage them in the world of your book and they will want to explore books for themselves.

    Advertising

    There is definitely nothing better than being able to be fully emerged in a good book. That is why it is essential for you to start reaching out to your kids with reading now. You never know, by following these simple steps, you could potentially create a lifelong reader.

    Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

    More by this author

    Kara Masterson

    Freelance Writer

    5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Health Policy The Next Stage: 4 Tips For Successfully Navigating Retired Life entrepreneur 7 Ways to Become a Successful Entrepreneur 5 Online Degrees to Help you with your Teaching Career DIY Designs: Four New Projects to Take on That can Help you Save Money

    Trending in Child Education

    1 Research Finds The Effects Of Homework On Elementary School Students, And The Results Are Surprising 2 5 Tips For Teaching Money Management To Children 3 If You Want Your Kids To Be Successful, Don’t Protect Them In This Way 4 Helpful Things Your Child Should Learn Before They Turn 18 5 The Lessons Chess Can Teach Your Children

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Published on November 12, 2020

    How to Identify And Play to Your Child’s Strengths

    How to Identify And Play to Your Child’s Strengths

    As you sit there, perhaps on a sofa, maybe a lounge chair, or while you’re sharing a meal at the table, you glance over to the pride and joy you are happy each day to call your child. They smile back, running around the table they learned to stand up using or kiss you on the cheek as they snatch your car keys for their first (or second, but what feels like hopefully the last) errand using your car. You watch as they take their plate from the table, ask if anyone needs anything on their way to the sink, and then finally meander towards the living room saying to you, “Bed fort after dinner?”

    How respectful! How creative! Such initiative!

    What you may not realize is that because we don’t often think about this in the day-to-day of parenting, your child’s strengths—the initiative, creativity, drive, passion, and introspective nature that turns other people off—are cultivated daily!

    If you’ve never given thoughts to your child’s inherent strengths, that’s okay. As is all too common, you’re conditioned to only look at what they need to fix.[1]

    Turns out, identifying, cultivating, and managing your child’s strengths isn’t very difficult. In fact, much of those three steps can occur during a visit to the park. Let’s discover simple and effective ways to highlight your child’s strengths.

    Identifying Strengths

    Now, I know what you may be thinking: between office meetings, Zoom sessions, laundry, and grocery shopping, when exactly do I have time to become a psychologist?

    I get it. But really, identifying your child’s strengths is not difficult. In fact, a simple exercise usually suffices—participate in their play!

    Advertising

    Participate in Their Play

    Play can take many forms and is usually defined as an activity that does not bring extrinsic value to be enjoyed—us adults typically refer to these activities as “hobbies.” Whether your child is two or thirteen, children are children, after all, and play is essential.

    According to a report from the University of Utah, play is a way for children to practice “problem-solving, self-control, and learning how to share.”[2] Aren’t those powerful strengths that we should identify and cultivate in our supportive role of helping children thrive as adults?

    When children engage in play, they naturally show how they lead, how they empathize with others, and how they work with others (or not) to solve problems. If you spend time being present with your children during play, you will be able to see how your child’s strengths manifest in the simplest of activities. Seeing your children play allows you to see how they make mistakes, too, which is a powerful indicator of their sense of self.

    Allow (Supported) Mistakes—and Often!

    Identifying your child’s strengths has nothing to do with demanding them to be perfect. Far from it, actually. Remember—you are guiding them to becoming a self-sufficient and nurturing adult, and there aren’t many of us out there that are perfect!

    Highlighting moments when your child has made some mistakes and working through how to bounce back or fix that mistake can be wondrous when they are working towards understanding their effect on others, themselves, and the world.

    Just like parents that tend to focus too much on the negative, children too often learn more from their mistakes than their successes. Catch your child softly during a mistake, and work through a plan to get themselves out of it. Your goal is not to fix their issue, of course, but to build within them the capacity to make a better choice next time.

    When you take on this mindset of an engaging and present parent that is looking for ways to build your child’s strengths, you’ll be surprised at what you see them able to do.

    Advertising

    Some solid examples of inherent child strengths to look for include:

    These are the soft skills that are being developed as young as preschool and even before. In today’s global workplace environment, ensuring that your child is developing in these (and other) areas will set them up for success.

    Okay, great. You’ve watched your children at the park or tag along with your teenager to a volunteer event and notice how gracious they are. How do we keep that going?

    As is normally the case, you’ll see that cultivating strengths is no more difficult than identifying them.

    Cultivating Your Child’s Identified Strengths

    Imagine this scenario: Thursday evening, and you’ve worked your fourth ten-hour day. Your partner is late getting home from work, and your three kids are all wanting different things for dinner that should have been made yesterday.

    At the exact moment you’re about to snap from the pressure, your middle child says, “Hey, maybe we can all act like chefs tonight and make our own dinners? Might be fun!”

    Um, yes, please?

    Advertising

    As you settle in bed later that evening and reflect on that exchange in the kitchen, you start to highlight other times that child—and, as you doze, your other children in their own ways—stepping up and leading. You know this cannot be by accident, so what’s going on here?

    Provide Many At-Bats

    Just because a child can take their plate to the sink doesn’t mean they are responsible enough with Grandma’s China set. But when you provide the “at-bats” for children to build capacity using their strengths, you see the road to them handling more difficult scenarios becoming less and less cluttered with obstacles.

    There will come a day, and perhaps soon, that your child will be able to navigate that China with extreme grace. Today just ain’t that day, but with some work, it’ll come!

    Providing opportunities for your child to build on their strengths is a great idea. Everyone likes to feel competent, and your child is no different! Setting up scaffolded opportunities for them to showcase their budding personalities decreases the stress and increases the chance that, next time, they will perform even better.

    Teach Them to Trust but Verify

    Good leaders don’t have all the answers. Neither should you and of course, we don’t expect our children to know everything. But we should build within them the capacity for understanding what they don’t know and figuring out ways to get the information they need to work through their situations.

    You cannot always have the answers, either. So, what should you do?

    Exposing them to the world of information that exists is a good start. Great, you’ve identified your child is empathetic, but must they assist and provide supportive care to everyone they encounter? Or should there be some healthy boundaries established?

    Advertising

    Working with your children to mold and curate these more nuanced approaches to their strengths will provide them with a good road map to use when they ultimately leave you and lead their own lives.

    Turning Weaknesses Into Opportunities

    While not exactly the elephant in the room, I can’t possibly write an article about child strengths without also addressing the fact that our children aren’t possibly capable of being good at everything.

    Perhaps one of your most important roles as a parent is to decide what strengths your child has and to inspire them to cultivate those strengths using the tips and suggestions in this article. However, there will be a wide variety of opportunities for you to work through the challenges your child experiences.

    I don’t want this to sound too harsh but the fact is, everyone has competencies on a spectrum: you can work, hustle, and grind to develop parts of your personality or skill set to whatever gain you set for yourself. Allowing children to operate with a mindset of progress, not perfection, will help their journey. You cannot be weak, after all, if you are constantly striving for improvement.

    So, the next time you take your kiddo out to the park, attend a professional sporting event, or perhaps when you’re playing cards in the living room on a cold winter night, pay attention to how they maneuver around.

    How are they asking for what they need? How are they offering support? How are they handling conflict? How are they bouncing back from missed opportunities or mess-ups?

    In each of those moments—and many more—the opportunity to cultivate strength in your child is just around the corner!

    More Tips on Developing Your Child’s Strengths

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next