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10 Ways for Parents to Encourage Their Child to Read

10 Ways for Parents to Encourage Their Child to Read

Encouraging children to read has been a challenge as long as there have been kids and books. Reading is essential not only in education, but in the modern business world where so much communication takes place digitally, over email and text-based messaging systems. Because of this, the ability to read for comprehension and to communicate effectively is vital, and needs to be taught at a young age. Beyond that, reading for pleasure provides a wealth of benefits for kids as they go through school and into adulthood. A study of more than 17,000 people, recording their reading habits and academic success as children, found that those students who read for pleasure not only did better with their vocabulary and spelling, but also in math. The connection was four times as strong as that of students whose parents had graduate level degrees.

Here are some tips for parents to encourage their kids to read and turn a young reader’s reluctance into enthusiasm.

1. Develop children’s oral language

Depending on the child’s language skill level, give him a story to read or have a story read to them. When the story is finished, ask your child to pinpoint favorite parts of the story. This can enable children to have fun picking out words and develop an interest to move to the next page.

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2. Read several stories every day

The more children are exposed to literature, the more reading will become part of their daily life. A child is introduced to new information, concepts, and phonemic awareness with every story.

3. Surround your children with reading material

Children with a large collection of reading resources in their homes score higher and perform better on standardized tests. Provoke a reading habit in your child by having a large array of interesting books and magazines at her reading level.

4. Encourage a wide variety of reading activities

Make reading an essential part of your children’s lives. Let them read menus, movie name, roadside signs, game guides, weather reports, and other practical everyday information. Always try to make sure your children have something to read in their spare time.

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5. Use technology to increase self-esteem

Technology is changing the way we all learn, and it can have a positive impact on kids and their reading. By adding technology like tablet e-readers to the classroom, students’ self-esteem and confidence rises. Technology also gives students who have grown up in an age of smartphones and ubiquitous computers another outlet with which they are familiar to grow and learn. Building self-esteem through applied technology and increased reading skills can have a positive ripple-effect on every other area of a student’s life.

6. Let them use e-readers

E-readers can be adapted to each person’s specific needs. If you have a kid who needs larger font or less lines per page in order to improve their reading ability, e-readers are perfectly suited to this kind of tailoring. E-readers are adaptive for students with learning disabilities as well, and can help level the playing field for children who learn differently.

7. Let them choose what they read

Reading for pleasure is one of the best ways for a child to improve his performance at school, but teaching a child to love reading involves a lot more than simply handing him a book. Letting children have choices in their reading material goes a long way in raising life-long readers. Kids who choose what they read, regardless of whether it’s a novel, a comic book, or a magazine, are more engaged with what they are reading and more likely to retain the information.

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8. Help them choose age-appropriate books

Help your kids choose age-appropriate books on topics that interest them to spark a passion for reading. Take them to the library or even show them e-readers that provide entire libraries of options at the touch of the screen. Access to a wide-variety of options helps make it easier for parents to help their children find the stories that give them that toehold into the world of reading.

9. Make use of gadgets and creative apps

Your smartphone or tablets can be used to install useful reading apps where kids can have safe spaces for reading without parents worrying about what they might come across online. Parents are able to choose what their children can access, as well as how long they can do different activities with timer features.

10. Show interest in your child’s reading

Your response or feedback has a strong effect on how hard they will try to become good readers. Always remember to give them genuine praise for their efforts.

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Reading for pleasure seems to give kids an advantage in school because they are used to be introduced to new ideas and can process them more quickly and effectively than their non-reading peers. E-readers have opened the doors to getting the next generation back into reading. Easy access to an array of topics and stories is sure to spark an interest in even a reluctant reader, and increasing technology provides better tailored learning opportunities while increasing self-esteem and confidence in the classroom.

Featured photo credit: Madeline ~ Magical Pages/CT Pham via flickr.com

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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