question of the week:My daughter hates reading

I’m not good at reading books, but I would like my five-year-old daughter to develop interest in reading. She hates reading and prefers watching TV. What do I do? Stella

I’m not good at reading books, but I would like my five-year-old daughter to develop interest in reading. She hates reading and prefers watching TV. What do I do? Stella

Dear Stella,

Helping your child to enjoy reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. The most effective way to encourage your child to love books and reading is to read aloud to them and the earlier you start, the better. Even a baby of a few months can see pictures, listen to your voice, and turn cardboard pages.

Make this time together a special time when you hold your kids and share the pleasure of a story without the distractions of TV. You may be surprised to find that a well-written children’s book is often as big a delight to you as it is to the kids. You can visit a book shop and buy children’s books that you can read to your daughter before she goes to bed. This will increase her curiosity and soon the child will want to read for herself.

You can also buy charts to place in her room. These will help her acquaint herself with certain words at an early age. It is important to regularly replace these charts as she grows so she can learn more things. Buying books as gifts is another effective way of getting your child to love reading. You do not have to stick to the traditional toys when thinking about gifts for your child. An interesting story book may do wonders for your child.

Don’t stop finding time to read with your child. At this stage, encourage her to read to you as you listen. This shared enjoyment will continue to strengthen your child’s interest and appreciation. Also having books, magazines, and newspapers around your home will help your daughter to view them as part of daily life. And your example of reading frequently and enjoying it will reinforce that view. So you must also put an effort to read and your children should see that. Children learn by imitating, so if your daughter sees that you enjoy reading and treat books gently and with respect, she will do the same.

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