Be the example: If you don’t read, chances are you children will opt for other forms of entertainment too. Children learn from what they see their parents doing. So make a conscious effort to read while they are awake rather than when they have gone to bed and they will follow in your footsteps. Even if it’s just a magazine article- read something in their presence and encourage them to do the same. 

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

Keep books both in and out of the home: Rather than keeping them restricted to a bookcase- make sure there are books in your living area, bedrooms, bathroom, car and bags. If your child sees that books are the norm, wherever they go, they are more likely to look at them when they seek entertainment.

Start early: Start reading to your baby as soon as they are born. They may not understand the words but they will get used to seeing you holding a book and reading it from a young age. Plus, they will enjoy hearing your voice and seeing the facial expressions you make as you do. If you read to them at their bedtime, they will come to expect a story when they are older too. 

Visit your local library: Make this an event every week or fortnight so they can get excited about the trip and about books in general. Children grow tired of things quickly so the constant flow of new reading material will keep them interested and stimulated. Plus it saves you a lot of money!

Read to them every night: If you combine reading with their nighttime routine, they are more likely to carry on this tradition as they get older and more independent. Reading in a soothing voice can help to calm them down and if they are struggling to settle. They may come to associate this unwind with reading. 

Encourage your child to read to you: Even from being small, children like to share their experiences as they learn about the world. So let them show you how they can turn the page, point at the pictures and interact with it if it’s a lift and flap, touch and feel or pull, push, slide book. They may even try to ‘read’ the words by making noises- all of which is vital for getting them into the habit. 

Encourage others to join in: If your child is looked after by a relative while you work, ask them to adopt the same rules in their home so books are accessible and reading is available at whoever’s house they visit. Consistency is so important when it comes to reading. 

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