How can we cultivate the READING HABIT in children ? Start them young. Read them a bedtime story regularly. Little children love listening to a bedtime story, it calms them and helps them to sleep. It’s a time to bond. always have a few story books, and let the child choose the book. Some children love to hear stories at meal times.
There are plenty of beautifully illustrated books for children. There are washable books that can be read, while in the bath. The late Maya Angelou said, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” Reading stories enlarges a child’s vision, fosters imagination and improves language skills It has been proved that the act of reading heightens brain activity. Doctor Gregory Berns of the Emory University’s Centre for Neurology in Atlanta, has said in an article, published in the Journal of Brain Connectivity, “……. we can say that reading stories, especially those with strong narrative arcs, reconfigures brain networks. It shows how stories can stay with us. This may have profound implications for children and the role of reading in shaping their brains.”
A visit to a library, where children can browse through books, can be quite exciting and interesting. Gift books to your children on special occasions. Teach them to love and respect books. If parents, themselves are readers, then it is not difficult to foster the reading habit in their children. Alas, today children are more interested in watching T.V. and playing games, on the internet. They have no time and patience for books. The READING HABIT has not been fostered in them. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis said, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. LOVE OF BOOKS IS THE BEST OF ALL.”