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Categories: Parenting

Ask a random group of kids about reading and many will tell you that it

  Those classic images of childhood are relics.  Kids today will more likely be remembered for their video game prowess.


The fact that today’s kids are so wired and trained by instant technological gratification— pleasure is never more than a flick of a button away—is one of the major reasons that reading has fallen out of favor with today’s youth.


But why is reading books important anyway? 

Reading books—in the old-fashioned, alone and quiet sense—does more than simply help to develop a strong vocabulary—it helps today’s children learn how to delay gratification. It teaches how to self-amuse and be patient and to focus on one thing at a time. Reading a book is like a debriefing for media-saturated children. It helps them be able to focus on a single thing at a time. There is a clear ramp-up time to a book—sometimes it can take two or three chapters to get hooked, teaching perseverance and patience.


But more than that, spending QT with a good book helps children develop skills that will pay off in the classroom. Reading teaches the importance of seeing connections and new meanings, feeling the emotional development of a book’s characters and how to empathize with others.


Getting your child to unplug and read a book isn’t an easy task.  Here are some tips to help your kids develop better reading habits.


·         Take them to the library. Talk to the children’s librarian to learn about special resources and recommendations.

·         Get them their own library card.  This gives kids a sense of ownership, a sense of investment in their reading choices.

·         Read with them. Set an example, discuss their book, ask questions, and generally help your child get the most out of their reading.

·         Know the awards. The Canadian Library Association and the Governor-General's Awards are generally markers of excellence, not merely popularity or name recognition.

·         Aim high. Stretch their interest and abilities, give them a chance to push themselves — most kids will rise to the challenge.

·         Discuss amongst yourselves.  Ask questions. Share feelings. Let them tell you the story.  Get them to talk about what they’re reading, to make it their own.

·         Ask older kids to read to younger kids. Reading out loud is an important skill in itself, and an opportunity to bring siblings together.

·         Limit screen time. This is hard but often necessary to give reading a chance to catch on.


Remember, reading should be fun, not just another chore to get through. Try these tips to help your children discover the joys of reading.  If your child needs some help developing their reading skills at any age visit  to see how they can help.