This blog is an excerpt from Ramen’s parenting book,“Effective Parenting: A New Paradigm”.
Of all the things my father taught me, possibly the one that I cherish the most is the value of reading. Alas, today reading as a habit is becoming rarer by the day. All that the child reads today are text books or guides or books on careers – stuff that will help her make a living. In that process the child neglects to read words that will help her make a life – books that entertain and elevate, words that are endearing and enduring.
From a very young age read to her as much as possible. Get her to fall in love with your words and the pictures in the book. As she grows buy her attractive books with pictures and help her read on her own. Encourage her to ask questions and answer them patiently. As she adds years, add books to her life. Let reading become a regular part of her routine. Discuss her favourite author and characters with her. If you haven’t heard of them read up a bit yourself. This will make your ties stronger. Moreover, if she catches you reading she is sure to imitate you.
Build your own little library and keep it well stocked with books of different genres so that anytime she wants to reach out for something interesting it is always there for her. On her birthday encourage your friends/relatives to give her books rather than T-shirts/jeans or Barbie dolls. You too make it a habit of giving books as gifts. This way, not only will you be setting an example – you will also be promoting the reading habit.
Encourage her to write poems, stories, essays and reviews of her favourite book and submit her work on the net and/or to any of the newspapers which carry children’s supplements. Encourage her to become a member of a library and/or join a book club.
If your child is comfortable with her cell phone or Tab you can introduce her to new apps which make stories digitally interactive and are increasingly becoming popular.