Bringing up a well-read child

Reading to a child is a great way to bond with toddlers. The toddler sits on the parent’s lap and gets the benefit of really close cuddling while listening intently to the mother’s voice. It is a very special time for the toddler and one that should be set up as a ritual regularly for him or her. The ritual could happen after a bath, or after daycare. It could even happen in the early mornings when the child wakes up, which would prepare him for the day.

A good reading method

The method of reading also matters a lot to a toddler. If the books are not selected to match his reading level then he may get bored with books that are too simple, or confused and frustrated with books that are too complicated. Try to have a good blend of simple and complicated books to reward the child and challenge her. The main way to educate child on new words is to repeat the often so he can get used to hearing them. A parent who reads the same book many times for weeks is not wasting time but instead she is helping a child to memorize new words. Finally, using comedy to explain things in the books by making up stories or asking funny questions also rewards the child. These jokes motivate the child to enjoy reading and come back again to sit down and read another book.

A few tips

When selecting books for a child, it is important to find out the child’s interests first. Then select books that pertain to what the child likes to talk about in life. If the child likes dinosaurs, then read books about dinosaurs. If he likes cars, then read about cars. Whatever interests the child should become the subject of his next book. Children change their interests often, so it’s important to discuss things with your child, and these discussions in themselves will also encourage the child to love words and language as well as indicate to you when the child’s interests change.

Doctors recommend no screen time for children under two years old and only one hour a day of screen time for children over two. This is because screens encourage passivity and that slows down the mind to make reading more difficult. Instead of screen time, there are libraries to visit for books.

Story time can be a regular part of a child’s life. It can be occurring with meals. Parents can chat about different princes and princesses and wild adventures in faraway lands to enchant children with a love of stories that will encourage them to find their own stories by searching their books. As well, parents can point out words by labelling things in the world around them. This labelling can happen constantly to teach children to name things and repeat words.

Finally, parents can show their own children how much they love books themselves. This engagement with their own books in front of the children shows the children books are for everyone to enjoy. The children often follow their parents’ examples. Read often and provide good educational books for your children and one day they will grow up with a love of reading.