3) Kids have many reasons why they don’t want to read: ‘It’s boring’, ‘I don’t have time’, ‘it’s too hard’, ‘I like watching TV more’, can be a few of them. And they are not excuses. If this is what you are encountering then pick books that deal with the things your kids love. If your child likes airplanes then picking books on that subject should be a start. Pick books that have visuals because children do like to see pictures before they read. If your child is a reluctant reader pick books that have fewer words on each page. It’s ok if your child is not reading. At least he/she is flipping through to see pictures. Don’t set unrealistic goals. Take baby steps and DON’T force. Anything that is compelled is a pain.
4) Introduce the bookmark: Reading can be intimidating, especially if your child is a reluctant-reader. Tell your kid that he/she does not need to finish the book. Bookmarks are meant to be used to take a break in reading and must be used.
5) Getting an older child to read always makes reading glamorous: For the older child it is a way to show-off their skill and for the younger one it is one more reason to want to do the same.
6) Don’t be a book snob: I am. Every time my daughter—who is a voracious reader—picks an Archie Digest or a Geronimo Stilton, it makes my heart sink. It takes every thing I know to stop myself from walking up to her and making her read what I want her to read (an Indian book by an Indian author). So allow your child to read anything. Reading opens many doors—vocabulary, creativity, the list is endless. But if reading is going to be constantly regimented, then it’s going to a chore and nobody likes chores, right?
7) Introduce word games: I play ‘read the sign boards’ when we travel together and a game called ‘s and b’ where each player is encouraged to say a word that reminds him/her of the word said before—anything except words that start with s or b. You can think of more games. Words are magic. They are the keys that open many things. Reading is as much about language as it is about words and the way they are strung together to make a picture.