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Parenting Decoded: Making Friends With Books

After becoming a parent, most efforts of a person are directed towards making their child’s life more beautiful. You give them the best of clothes, toys, and experiences in a bid to keep them happy. There is also a very simple way to enrich their life – books. Books are what you want them to be – a companion, a teacher, your very own personal entertainer, a portal into different worlds and much more. Well, kids don’t know that yet, so most of them don’t learn about the beauty of books till they are taught (and sometimes forced) to. This week’s Parenting Decoded talks about getting a child to read and befriend books at a young age. Read on!

1. Why To Read Books

Before you ask your child to start reading, you should be convinced about the benefits of reading. We know reading is a good habit, but here are Ronita and Falak’s opinion about ‘Why’ reading is good for your child.

2. Benefits of Reading Books, Explained

Most parents would love a child who reads, because we have been taught that ‘good children’ read. Reading is not just a way to make a child stay quiet for some time, it also has some very tangible benefits. And you can take advantage of the goodness of reading even before your child can make sense of letters, by reading to them. Gauri Kamath tells you why you should be reading to your child.

3. Love Books, Love Life

Books are not just collections of words bound together. They are your friends, guides and portal to another world. Sapna Agarwal agrees, and hopes that her kids feel the same.

4. Fostering The Reading Habit

It is no secret that parents who read want their kids to read too! Most of us have childhood favorites which we want to pass on to kids so that we can bond over Nancy Drew or Tom Sawyer. Gauri Venkitaraman talks about such a love for books and how to make kids like reading by letting them choose their own favourites and more.

5. Get Off To An Early Start

Most of us think that kids first see books in playgroups or kindergarten, but their relation to books can start much earlier if you start reading to your child. If you’re worried that your child will run off to some more exciting activities when you start reading to them, Falak tells you how to pin them down and make them enjoy the process.

6. The Key To A Different World

The stories that we embrace at a young age stay with us forever, and get us excited even after we grow up. Bindu Manoj reminisces about the effect that books had on her imaginative little mind. Wouldn’t you like to give your child such a world?

7. The Family That Reads Together

Every family is different and the importance that they attach to different habits. For some families, reading is a painful necessity while for some, it is an activity they look forward to. Indu talks about this contrast when it comes to reading habits.

8. Choose The Right Books

Reading a Salman Rushdie or Dostoevsky tome might be your idea of relaxing, but that’s not true for your child. Children need very different things from books than we do, and the books you select need to be exciting enough for them to get hooked. Shubhangi Srikanth’s post will help you choose the right books.

9. A Book Reading Nook

Bibliophiles have a dream of having a corner in the house especially for their books, which they can visit when they want to curl up with a book. Wouldn’t it be super cute to have a library full of colourful kiddie books too? Moushumi Ananthakrishnan curates this library for you.

10. Accio Books!

Books by themselves are magical, but a book about a magical world is utterly fascinating. Nimi Arora has a special spot in her heart for ‘Harry Potter’, and she shares her story of how her children came to sharing that love.

11. Try, Try Till They Read

Kids love to crawl, run, tumble, play and go for long walks (obviously with someone carrying them). Reading is not really high on an active baby’s to-do list. The only thing you need to make such a baby love reading is to have more perseverance than your child! At least that’s what worked in Aloka Gambhir’s case.

12. Tips To Raise Readers

Vasantha Vivek is a teacher, and who better than a teacher to tell you how to get a child to read? Her tried and tested ways to make your child a little reader will not only plant the love of books in your child, but will also get you closer as a family.

13. The Rare Natural Reader

There are kids who read books when they’re made to, and then there are some who take to books like a fish to water. No coaxing, cajoling or bribing is needed to get some children to read. Debolina Raja Gupta shares such a happy tale of history repeating itself.

14. Don’ts Of Raising A Reader

When you see a book, you see words and sentences that make sense. When a young reader sees a book, they see a jumble of symbols that they are supposed to make sense of. Your role is not to push them to get reading quickly, but be their navigator in the world of books. And Falak tells you the things you should not do in this role.

So this was our attempt to help you make your child a reader. You might not be a voracious reader yourself, but that’s by choice. We think every parent must introduce their young one to the world of books, and let them decide for themselves whether they want just an occasional stroll or wish to wander and get lost in that world. Happy Reading!