Parents are unable to deny the impact that technology has on our everyday lives. When we were children, we were often told to head outside and not come back until the street lights came on. We had televisions, but we didn’t spend hours on end watching them. We even spent time with books. Reading is vital to our world, regardless of what kind of technology we have. Many children have struggled with reading, no matter what tech has been available, and many would rather spend hours playing a video game rather than dive into the written word. So, here’s how to get kids to read and motivate them to find a quiet time with a fabulous story.
Start Them Young
When I was young, I didn’t read as much as my children did. I came into the joy of a good book on my own in elementary. During my pregnancies, one of my biggest desires was to share the pleasure of a good book with my babies. Before they were even born, I read to them. It may sound silly to some, but the interaction was phenomenal when I was in my last trimester. Every one of my children would kick and move about as soon as the story was over. I always chose children’s stories at that time and always read to them right before bedtime.
It didn’t stop there either. From the moment they were born until the age in which they could read on their own, I read to my kids every single night. Dr. Seuss was one of my favorites, and they still seem to love those stories. Because I did these small bonding acts, my children read at a higher level in elementary school and would look forward to a trip to the bookstore for a new book. Also, don’t buy into that “boys don’t read quite like girls.” I was told that but I treated my son the same as my daughters, and he was reading at a higher level than they did at his age.
Keep Everything in Moderation
Once kids get into late elementary school, video games and technological stuff start playing a big part in their lives. Fighting it is pointless; it will just drive a child to be curious about the thing you are adverse toward. It would be far better to come up with allotted time for video games, reading time, and outdoor play. There are lots of studies that show that teaching your children moderation is far healthier than just succumbing to one thing that they gravitate towards. You want to nurture their passions but also teach them to seek out other things to get excited about.
Embrace the Tech
One of the hardest things to face is that the child might simply not enjoy curling up on the couch with a mystery story. I am a bibliophile and have always preferred the smell and feel of a book in hand rather than reading online. However, there are times to take notes from your child and use what works. If you are at that point where it’s a battle, embrace the online book! There are tons of fantastic eBooks for kids, and you may find that if you embrace their desire to read on a Kindle, they might read more.
Keep Conversations Going
No matter how they are digesting a good story, keep them talking about it. Listening to your child talk about what is happening in the book they are reading is one way to support them on their reading journey. Keep up with the books they love and offer books at every holiday and birthday, electronically or physically. Trust me, your kids will become their version of a bibliophile, and you will be happy to watch that grow!