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I think it’s fair to say that modern kids do not read as much as children from older generations. Indeed, you can think back to your childhood or teenage years and much of your spare time was taken up by reading. Books were an easy way to lose yourself in stories and pass the time – especially if it was cold and rainy outside and you couldn’t go play!
Nowadays, with video games, streaming services, and all sorts of other gadgets at their disposal, kids don’t read as much. Is this a problem? Well, it can be.
I’m not saying that children shouldn’t play video games or watch Netflix! But, you should try to encourage your kids to read books. A few hours a week is still better than nothing, and here’s why it is important:
Reading develops crucial skills
If your child reads a book, they will develop a whole host of crucial skills that are important in every facet of their life.
For starters, they start to learn how to read faster and with more accuracy. What this means is they can read through a long page of text and take important information away from it right away. Children that don’t read will struggle to do this, which could be a problem when they have to take tests and read through loads of information or understand questions.
Secondly, reading helps your children improve their spelling or vocabulary. This makes them far more intelligent and allows them to express themselves better. Again, it also translates through to their school life and career – having a vast vocabulary is valuable when taking tests or applying for jobs.
Reading is also brilliant at developing a child’s imagination and creative thinking skills. It can fill them with cool ideas and thoughts that fuel more creative ideas in their heads. Every child needs an expansive imagination – it’s one of the most important tools you can have when growing up and maturing.
How do you get kids to read?
Clearly, reading is beneficial for your child’s development. There’s one problem…how do you get them to read? What can you do to pull them away from their Playstation or iPad?
Honestly, it’s all about finding the right books for them to read. You can find something called TERL, which is the Teen Emergent Reader Libraries, and it’s full of books that actively encourage teenagers and younger children to read more books. The idea is that the books are exciting, full of action, or cover topics a teenager/child will enjoy. At the same time, they’re easy for someone of this age to read.
Furthermore, you could figure out what sort of things your child likes based on their other interests. If they’re always watching TV shows full of wizards and fantasy elements, pick out some books in this genre for them to read. Once they start reading a good book, they won’t be able to put it down.
At the end of the day, one of the key rules to remember about parenting is that there needs to be a balanced life for your kids. They can’t spend all day playing video games or watching TV, so find them extra hobbies – like reading. But, don’t force them to read books every day and never do these other things. It’s a balancing act, and you may find it difficult initially. Nevertheless, encouraging your children to read will benefit them in the long run, so it’s worth pushing through.