In an era that is ruled by gadgets, my children love spending their time with books. Of course, they love the television and iPad but books also form part of their daily routine. Here is how I have inculcated the habit:
1. Don’t tell your child to read; instead, create an environment that encourages reading habits.
2. Keep a book in every corner of the house. Every area accessible to the child should have a book. Quietly change the books on a weekly basis.
3. Your child must see their elders reading. Humans are monkeys, your child will copy you.
4. Reserve a time during the day when the entire family reads books.
5. Tactfully weave in discussions around what you are reading. Encourage your child to share experiences.
6. Once in a while organise a trip to the bookstore. Allow your child to spend time in exploring the environment.
7. We recommend books to each other. I read a lot of young adult fiction to vet books that he’d like and is age appropriate. But I started reading to my kids in the womb! Also, we try to set aside at least 30mins to read.
8. It may not be possible to buy each and every book. Try to take a membership of a nearby library.
9. Visit bookstores that allow children to sit and read. This way the child can explore a whole lot of books without you having to spend.
10. Incentivise reading with more books. Browse books online and in book fairs along with your child. Set aside reading goals and make the next book a gift to achieve the goal. That way you create a spiral web of reading and motivation.