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Motivating children to read

A little girl inspired by her parents to read.
A little girl inspired by her parents to read.
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As writers and parents it’s important for us to try and instil a love of reading and writing in our children. After all we do read and we do write, therefore, what’s keeping us from passing on our passion to our children?

The earlier we expose them to these two elements the higher probability they will retain them.

When a child is born, sit and read to them. Who cares if they can’t understand? It’s the connecting ‘togetherness’ that is important, and eventually, as they age, you buy them appropriate age-level books and allow them to read to you. It all depends on the parent and the surrounding material they offer a child at a young age: comic books, coloring books with short sentences in them, children’s magazines.

Tips to get your child motivated and encouraged to read:

A child mimics so if they see a parent reading they may be inclined to join them with his own book for a ‘together’ moment of reading pleasure.

Althernate reading to each other; first the parent reads a page of the child’s favourite book, and the child reads the next page. This is, of course, when a child is able to read.

Spending time at a bookstore or library will help curb the television or computer appetite.

Register them for reading time at the local library.

Read a book and then together with your child act out the characters in the story. Not only is this fun but it helps them understand what the characters are experiencing.

Ask family and friends to purchase books either along with a birthday gift or on its own for your child. Make sure to tell them what the child loves to read: dragons, puzzle books, cars, etc.

Along with your child set up his very own reading corner with a comfy chair/beanbag/big, fluffy pillow.

These are just some ideas to inspire a reading enhancement between you and your child.

What methods have you tried to encourage reading or writing in your child?


  • Cher Green 5 years ago

    I totally agree with this point. The fact that the majority of parents do not read with their children disturbs me. I, unfortunately, do not have a child to pass my love of reading and writing on to. My little sister was an avid reader as a child, but with pressures from my mother and school to read so many books a year she seldom reads anymore. There is a big difference between telling a child she has to read and sharing the act of reading with her.

  • Karen Cioffi 5 years ago

    I agree completely. It's essential for parents/guardians and anyone involved in a child's life to read to them, with them when they're learning, and as Cher commented, be a reading example.

  • Jessica Bacon, Lincoln Literature Examiner 5 years ago

    This subject is near and dear to my heart. As the mother of two children who do not enjoy reading, I do whatever I can to show them how wonderful the world of books can be. We've joined fun book clubs at the local library, and I never, no matter how tempting, put my own reading ahead of their personal needs.

  • Randi Fosse 5 years ago

    I couldn't agree more. I have a two year old boy. I have read to him since he was barely two months old and now he loves books. Often, given the choice between a book and a toy he'll take the book. It makes me so proud to watch him. Now one of his favorite things to do is spell words on our fridge with magnetic letters and it surprises me how fast he is learning. I think it is all because we started so early. I'll have to admit, I enjoy it as much as he does.

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