"Is my child actually reading or simply flipping through pages?"

Such a natural concern to have as a parent who sees one's child close a book real quick and announce that he or she has finished reading the book. Here is what you can do to ensure that your child is enjoying the book and at the same time not lose your calm over the matter.




If a child closes a book a little too soon in your point of view, the following could be the reasons:

a) The book is boring and your child doesn't enjoy it

b) The book is too difficult to read independently

c) Simply not in the mood to read.

d) Being asked to read to get something makes reading a chore, something that needs to be done to get something.

e) Sees no one reading at home.


While, it may seem like the best way to ensure that book has been read, is to quiz your child afterwards, it is a futile exercise if your objective is to raise a life long reader. Who loves a test or an exam? It is associated with performance, marks, expectations and the recurring repercussions thereof. Imagine the same happening with reading as well. Just another activity to be disliked.


Who loves a test or an exam? It is associated with performance, marks, expectations and the recurring repercussions thereof. Imagine the same happening with reading as well. Just another activity to be disliked.
Understood. But how can I encourage my child to 'actually' read?
There is a book for every kind of reader. You simply need to find it.
Regular access to books and accepting hits and misses

To begin with, it is important to accept that there will be hits and misses when it comes to books. The key is to keep exposing them to different kinds of books either through bookstore visits/library visits/author reading programs etc. Readers often share that they are reprimanded for not finishing the books that have been bought and instead asking for new ones. How about hitting the pause button and asking "What about the book we have didn't you like?" How about giving your child the choice to express why the book in question did not get read?


Just as a plant shows no visible change for a long time but then suddenly it feels like there is a visible change, the same is true of children reading too. One needs to keep feeding them the idea of enjoying different stories. This can be through read aloud sessions together, parent and child and/or book club read aloud sessions with friends. For older children, seeking their book recommendations, reading those and discussing the same goes a long while reenforcing that reading books can be another way to bond.


It needs to be an activity that happens every day

Associating reading with a way to unwind and relax is a great way to develop positive association with reading. This also paves the way to choose books that are soothing for a bedtime story for instance.


Benefits of reading everyday

Ardent readers find ways to diligently finish all their school work to be able to unwind with a book. Clearly they love the experience of reading and this reflects in their writing and thinking approaches as well. They are able to understand their school texts better and express themselves better. Reading cannot be a holiday pass time only, if you would like your child to reap benefits of regular reading. The sooner you begin showing that reading is associated with fun and finding calm, the chances of your child growing into an avid reader gets enhanced.


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