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How to create reading habits in children

  • Create a separate reading area--Ideally a quiet and comfortable area where the child would like to spend time. Try to provide an area which is near your collection of books.
  • Give him access to books -- Set up a book collection shelf at home from where he can pick and read items of his choice.
  • Set aside time for reading-- Allocate a period of time, maybe 30 minute or so, every day, for your children to spend on reading at the allotted area.
  • Encourage reading one good book -- Out of the allotted reading time set aside 10-15 minutes to read one good book that would take many days to complete.
  • Spend reading time with your child -- Whenever possible spend time reading with him and then discussing what you read.
  • Encourage family reading -- Schedule a period of time when all members of the family can meet and read from their favorite books.
  • Make reading fun -- Read to him and act out portions to make the experience lively. This is sure to arouse greater interest.
  • Display books in your home -- This will give your children the impression that books have an important role in the household.
  • Make him join a library -- Libraries are great places for reading and writing.

What to Avoid

  • Nagging -- Pressurizing and hounding a child will only increase his resistance.
  • Bribing -- Bribing can produce negative results. Instead present him with a book and praises on his completing a reading assignment successfully.
  • Judging-- Constant judging will take the pleasure out of reading and he will soon lose interest.
  • Criticizing his choice-- If he is taking the initiative to read books of his choice, encourage him, even if he is choosing books that are too light and easy to read. In time he will go for more serious options.
  • Setting tough goals --Don’t expect great things in short time frames. Encourage him gently, instead.

Reading Habits in Children

Reading fires the imagination in the child. It encourages quick learning and widens his views, expands horizons and helps him learn about different people and places. It encourages imagination and curiosity. Reading gives children skills in handling complex ideas. But the future generation appears to be at a risk of going straight from an oral to a digital culture, skipping over the writing and reading culture in the process. Research shows that there is a relationship between reading and delinquent behaviour.

There is a flip side to this. Reading the wrong kind of books or books meant for adults, can have an adverse impact on the impressionable minds of the young.

Reading is the only form of entertainment that is also an essential life skill. Reading doesn't just happen. It is a skill that must be nurtured from a child's earliest years. Once children know how to read, they still need gentle coaxing and support to reach their full potential as readers.

When a typical American child starts first grade, he would have already watched some 5,000 hours of television. Another 12 years later when he goes to grad school he would probably have spent more time in front of a screen than in class. Then there are games download, instant messaging, browsing the net. Not to forget audio books and e-books. Consequently reading habits among children are on the decline, Harry Potter notwithstanding.

Our children need help to develop their ability to read so that they can comprehend subjects better at school. Most children with learning disabilities have a problem with reading and related language skills. Children with poor reading skills end up receiving poor grades, get easily distracted and frustrated, have behaviour problems, seem to dislike like school and often fail to develop to their full potential.

Reading habits and our social environment

Kids with poor reading habits have higher chances of anti social behaviour. It has been observed that delinquency, school violence, bullying and even incidense of hacking computers (observed by a conerned parent)[2] have a higher correlation with poor reading habits. This does not mean that those with poor reading habits display such behaviours or poor reading habits are mainly reponsible for such behaviour patterns. But good reading habits help in developing a steady and constructive mind

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