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Growing up as a child, I hated reading. My preference? Video games. I could spend countless of hours in front of the TV, mouth wide open, working on leveling up my characters in the newest games. Meanwhile, my sister would spend all her time in her bedroom reading. My mother constantly tried to convince me to read. We’d go to libraries and bookstores. Reading was just never my thing. The only perk I had was that pretty much any book I wanted, my mother was willing to buy. Sound familiar? You're not alone.

Here are some tips and ways to encourage your child to enjoy reading.

  1. Read to them. Children love stories. They especially love hearing stories being told to them. When I was a child, my parents would read to me and I would always request the same book: The Little Engine that Could. They soon memorized the book and would recite it from memory while I turned the pages. Reading time was much more than just hearing a book read. It was spending time with my parents. Reading with your child is one of the most important factors of getting your child to read.

  2. Read with them. Once you get into the habit of reading to them, change things up and have them read to you! You could take turns reading pages or paragraphs. They may read slow, but everyone starts somewhere!

  3. Start small. Children are often overwhelmed by size. I always avoided the books with the thick spine and gravitated towards books with large print and less than 100 pages. I would breeze through books and find ones with pictures (and lots of them). Anything that gets the kids reading is a start! If it’s comic books, comic books it is! Let them choose the book that interests them. Plan a field trip to a library and let your child browse through the various collections of books.

  4. Ask about the book. Show interest in what your child is reading. Ask them questions. Get engaged with them about the plot and what they think will happen. It’s a fantastic way to also get their brains working on their memory recall.

  5. Show your child that you enjoy reading. Children are sponges. They absorb everything, even when we don’t think they notice. They pick up not only the things we say, but also our attitudes towards our tasks. If they see that you dislike reading and you find it to be a chore, what are they going to think about reading?

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