Helping Kids Read For The Pleasure Of Reading

“The path of a reader is not a runway but more a hack through a forest, with individual twists and turns, entanglements and moments of surprise.” (Holden)

We might see our kids opening their books and reading, but are they actually reading? Many of us have been hooked to our books and we have developed a magical connection with what we read, this happens only if one reads for the pleasure of reading. Sanacore says, “Becoming a lifetime reader is predicated on developing a love of reading”.

Unfortunately, in today’s day and age more and more kids have started seeing reading as a task, as a chore… and children feel chores aren’t fun. Studies say less number of kids read for pleasure. A survey on Children’s Attitudes to Reading (Sainsbury & Schagen, 2004) says “children’s reading enjoyment has declined significantly in the last five years, especially amongst older children.”

Giving your child love for books is one of the greatest gifts. You may ask, what is great about reading for pleasure, besides the fact that it transports your child into a completely new world… Though this is more than enough if you ask me; research shows:

  • Children who enjoy reading books and who read for the pleasure of reading; tend do better academically.
  • Reading for pleasure helps your child become emotionally stronger.
  • It also improves ones vocabulary, language and communication skills.
  • I don’t know how correct is this, but some evidence also proves child’s socio-economic status has lesser effect on him/her if s/he enjoys reading.
  • Your child gains greater self-confidence as a reader.
  • It also helps develop understanding of various cultures, general knowledge, better insight in human behaviour, etc.

How can you help your child read for pleasure?

  • Take them book shopping and ask for their suggestions when you pick books for them
  • Regularly read in front of them
  • Don’t make reading appear as a task
  • Add an element of fun/surprise in reading… maybe you can check out Fun monthly book subscriptions like my very own Tale in a Mail
  • Discuss the book/story your child has read or heard.
  • Do not restrict reading to just books; there are magazines, billboards, toy boxes, etc.
  • Leave notes for your kids
  • Enroll your child in a reading/book club
  • And remember the next time you open the book with your child, try to remember reading for pleasure is what matters.

A story-teller, a Communication Trainer, a Parenting Blogger, a wife to her best friend and mum to the most adorable 2-year-old – Zoe. Falak Randerian, plays many roles, her favorite Being Zoe’s Mom. She runs story telling & communication workshop for kids My Little Chatterbox. You can read her personal blog Being Zoe’s Mom and her parenting website which she runs along with her elder sister www.momsters.in

  • Agreed 100%. Had no idea about “Fun monthly book subscriptions like my very own Tale in a Mail”. Thanks for the information. “and children feel chores aren’t fun.” – well, some of us elders do too. 😉

  • Falak Randerian

    Absolutely, you are right. One cannot force anything on the child 🙂