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The Habit of Reading in Children is a Nurtured One


Getting children to read

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The habit of reading is a nurtured one. Not an inherited one. Many schools of thought and a highly debated subject but everybody will cohesively agree on the fact that reading is a habit that helps improve concentration. Helps gain more knowledge than one possibly can by pure experience. A lot of mothers have questioned me on how does my child find any book so interesting that he is able to sit in one spot for hours together. My traditional answer is, he likes to read. But in all honesty no good book stands any chance when it competes with a good game of football. Or lukaan-chupai.

Also Read: How do I get my Child to Read?

If I were to think deeply about why my child likes to grab a book off any shelf in any book store, I think my thought zeroes down on one word- Curiosity. Most children learn because of their inherent curious nature. The ability to explore in children varies due to their varying curiosity levels for the context at hand. So the real question is, what generates curiosity in my child’s mind that drives him to pick up books? Also one critical thing we need to understand is that the natural response to try and find answers to our questions is to look around, not refer to books. Books are an adult response to acquire knowledge. So any child will first look around himself to try and get answers.

Also Read: Book Rues

For some, books are a world of imagination. Things that never happen in real life. Reading books means transporting oneself to that world where elephants fly and birds swim. This fantasy world gives immense pleasure to each child. Because there are no boundaries. Nobody to say- stop or no. What we need to understand is reading is not a habit with the young ones. It is contextual curiosity. Generated and raised to a sufficient level, each child will find his world of imagination.

Sitting with your children and reading is one way to nurture the curiosity. There will be questions from the reading and you helping him find answers will satisfy and complete the experience of reading. Early on, it is fun for parents to read with their children. And when they get to a stage where they are building on their vocabulary, it is vital to encourage them to try and read on their own. The parent needs to draw the fine line between fulfilling their story-time with adequate reading and setting time aside for self-reading. A lot happens when children watch their parents read. They intricately observe how their parents handle books, newspapers. How various reads from these elements transcend into real life conversations and it mostly gives them immense pleasure to do the same! The parent simply needs to provide adequate opportunities for the same. The child will automatically develop a healthy love for reading.

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Asawari Joshi Salwan is an Anthroposophy-inspired Parent Coach. She coaches mothers of young children, helping them feel confident about themselves as parents, and strengthening their bond with one another through one-to-one sessions and group workshops. Her objective is to build a safe, healthy and nurturing community for each child. Through her writing, Asawari wants to help parents connect to their feelings so that they ask the right questions of themselves. She also blogs at http://sowthechange.com/


5 thoughts on “The Habit of Reading in Children is a Nurtured One

  1. Sia

    I agree reading needs to be nurtured. A Child learns from her parents. If they browse, buy and read books, the child will tend towards it too.

    Reply
  2. Aparajita Bose

    My son was an an avid reader till the time school academics and Trinity school of music did not snatch away his idle hours. He confessed to me once that since the day our old TV had conked out years back he had begun taking refuge in books to kill his boredom. By the time the new TV came in he was completely hooked to books. On the flip side, his ‘obsession’ with story books does not allow him to spend a good amount of time with his school books! Strangely, my daughter is yet to begin to show her interest for books beyond the usual degree. She has seen me reading more than her brother has seen because I kept late hours at my workplace when he was a little boy. I think I know one of the reasons. The curriculum load is significantly more than what it was for my son when he was her age. With guilt I realize that her fun-filled years are now when she should spend a lot of time in her own storybook-world. I think a big bookshelf in the drawing room would do the trick!

    Reply
  3. Kavita

    Reading allow a flight of imagination that no other medium provides.I have noticed even very young children enjoy books- reading, looking at pictures, or even chewing it! But while this affinity for books may be instinctive,it is for parents to nurture and convert it into a reading habit.

    Reply

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