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Getting your children to read

PostPosted: May 17th, 2011, 10:49 pm
by mommyhelen
Hi guys, I found this interesting article about how to get your children to read. It opened my eyes that buying books for them is not enough, I have to lead by example, too. For those interested:

Philippine Star - ASK NANAY By Socorro C. Ramos

Dear Nanay,

I just read an article recently that talked about getting our children to read. I know you are a big supporter of reading and programs that can help get our children to read and that National Book Store has really pushed for everyone to get their children to read.

I am the mother of two young children, ages seven and nine, and they don’t seem to like to read very much. All they want to do is to watch TV with me and play video games with my husband. But I want them to read and no matter what I do they do not want to read the books I buy them. What can I do?
— Desperate To Read

Dear Desperate To Read,

It is very important to get your children to start the reading habit as soon as possible. It is never too early — or too late — for you to get your children into books.

The best thing to do for new parents is to start reading to your babies as early as possible and as often as possible. When you are reading to a baby, it may not seem like it is having an effect since she cannot understand you. But babies are smarter than you think. They are learning from your reading. And, perhaps more importantly, this is the “bonding” time between parent and child that babies look for. When this happens, your child will have good memories of spending time with books and that will hopefully lead to a lifetime of reading and learning for your child.

As for your children, I think you said it yourself — your kids like to “watch TV with you and play video games with your husband.” So therein lies a big part of your problem. Mahirap na nga kalaban ang TV at games, dinagdagan mo pa ng bonding time (It’s hard enough to compete with the TV and video games, and you add bonding as well). Papaano na iyan? Wala nang panalo ang libro (Books will not win in this situation.)

So what is the solution? You need to lead by example. Perhaps instead of watching TV or playing video games together, you can read a book with your children. That way, it will be more attractive to them as that will be the time they can bond with you and your husband. Of course, the problem is that it might mean a big lifestyle adjustment for you. But nobody said it would be easy. Like everything else in life, you need to invest your time and effort so that you can reap the benefits later.

Another suggestion I have is do not just “buy books for them.” You have to buy books that they are interested in. Kung mahilig sila sa kotse, dapat tungkol sa mga kotse yung libro; kung mahilig sila sa dinosaurs, dapat tungkol sa dinosaurs (If they’re into cars, buy books about cars; if they’re into dinosaurs, buy books about dinosaurs). Bring them to the bookstore and let them choose what they want to read. They will more likely read a book that they chose rather than one which was just bought for them.

And also, let them read anything they want. Books, magazines, newspapers, graphic novels and comics … it doesn’t matter what they are reading. Just as long as they are reading something. If you have just watched a movie that is based on a book, then it might be a good idea to buy the book for them. This is especially true with movies like Harry Potter, Twilight and all the superhero movies that all came from graphic novels.

As I said, it is never too early or too late to start. Reading is a habit that can be nurtured and built. Encourage your children to discover the wonders of reading. Once they start, they will discover its joys all by themselves.



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Philippine Star - ASK NANAY By Socorro C. Ramos