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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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