My son was preparing for his story telling competition at school. He is really good at it- making tall stories- especially when it comes to doing his homework. I got my pen and paper and started thinking about writing an original story which could be a good takeaway for the children in class. With great efforts, I made him understand the story but was sure that the output would be extempore. Only his mood and the bits of knowledge and fantasy known to him, would push him to speak on the stage.
I was so right. He came back that day and said “Mom I did tell your story but I also added my story and my favorite character Bunny in it. And it turned out to be a very good one. Miss patted my back and said I am truly a story teller”. I was pleasantly surprised that my little one who, at one point in time, had an aversion to read and just could not club the letters to make simple words. Today he could make a story on the go and get accolades too. This was possible only because of me pushing him a bit more to read since his pre-primary days. I would endlessly read out bed time stories and when he would be active I would ask him to read good English books. There used to be lot of protest but I did not give in easily to his tantrums.
Not all of us may be enthusiastic about reading. But as parents we can build the habit of reading in our children with smaller and less demanding materials like journals, booklets , pamphlets, newspapers etc. Gradually, we can ensure that we progress our reading to books too. It could be reading books on any subject of your interest. Foreign authors like Enid Blyton or Indian comics like Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha, Panchatantra and Jataka Tales are excellent for beginners. These are not only kids’ books or comics but treasures of good English language.
We as parents, devote our free time to social media apps and so our children try to imitate the same. Unknowingly we are getting into the habit of absorbing what is shared, not even aware if the source is genuine or not. Instead, why don’t we try to put ourselves in the habit of reading? It is a wonderful therapy for better and soulful living. Our children imitate us and we as parents should ensure that they don’t fall into the trap of social media early on. It is hazardous for the mental health. Instead try to start with small steps of reading out stories that they would like to hear. It’s good sometimes to animate your voice and create the interest of hearing the story. This is just the beginning step and it is good to start when the child is in the pre-primary school.
As they grow, we can tell them to pick books of their choice from libraries, stores or even book fairs. Get them home and ask them to read aloud. No matter how small or big our houses are, we should have a library with a wonderful collection of books for all age and topics. Slowly, you may come to know the taste of the books that your child wants to read and this would set a wonderful journey of a beautiful relationship of the child and the books. My son is so used to accepting this challenge of winning in the reading race. It typically happens at night when we are wrapping up for the day. He picks up a book and tries to narrate the story from the book or a related story influenced by his imagination.
The reasons to read are many. As parents we tend to either ignore or try to find easier ways to get our child’s knowledge upright. The reluctance to read is because of growing dependence on information available through cinemas and other means of electronic media. Proactive thinking and articulate language usage has taken a backseat. If we inhibit the gadget craze and encourage kids to pick books, it can only result in an excellent command over the language. Slowly this language becomes part of spoken language. My son loves to watch TV or play mind-numbing mobile games but the habit to end the day with a book has stayed. He does that every day, diligently and without any reminders.
So dear mommies and daddies, read to yourself and to your little ones. It will be a wonderful time which everyone will look forward to no matter how tired you are. I always feel great minds aspire great thoughts and great thoughts come only when you read, read and read! Start a reader’s club at home and make books your best friends.
Moushumi says- After 12 years of banking experience, I chose to take a sabbatical for my kids and be an enterprising mother. I am a Bachelor in Commerce, Masters in Finance Management and done diploma in creative writing. Writing is my passion and wish to develop it further. My husband is my inspiration to all my aspirations. I am a mother of two sons, my elder being 6 yrs old and younger about 1 month old . I love traveling and writing about places visited and every thought that fascinates me. All this can be read in my blog Life Bytes.