5 steps to inculcate reading habits in a toddler

Anita Slathia
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller
Do you find your child to be shying away or avoid reading? Or you are disturbed at how he avoids books ?
Why is the young one interested only in pictures and ignores the words? Is this the question looming around your mind..
Are you one of those parents who is worried about the reading aspect of your child.
Yes, then here are some easy ways to make reading a wonderful experience not only for the children but also for you as a parent or a teacher. . But remember one thing – Patience – This is the key to help the child.
Do not rush things as you are dealing with children.
* Playing around with the books
* Turning the pages
* Listen to their stories.
* Colorful picture books as gifts.
* Let them make their own stories.
* Connect the stories with the child
* Repetition of the imaginary stories
* Relating any story with the child’s daily routine.
* Story session with toys as characters
IMPORTANT strategy to follow these easily-
Be patient-
Patience is the need of the hour for any guardian, who is helping the child with reading.
The reason is very clear that every child is unique, needs some time to relate to the task at hand. In my opinion parenting is itself an interesting task at hand which is a synonym of patience. There is a certain way to approach a child and encourage him to read. In my opinion the education of the child is successful if the teachers have shown a lot of patience during the learning and adapting stage of the child. During this period the child develops a fondness with books and later to the reading aspect. What I feel that the state of mind of the parent affects the attitude of the child towards reading or any aspect of learning
Remain enthusiastic
This trait of an individual is very infectious. So the parent, if enthusiastic about reading books or story telling etc. will be motivating for the child. The reason is that he is always on the radar of the child, he can even sense how we feel in their presence, accordingly, they react and sometimes even enjoy imitating the elders. The way elders sit while reading or appreciating the child, while reading goes a long way in order to encourage the child for the love of books.
The parents or elders can ask some questions related to the story in a way to develop the inquisitiveness or create some kind of hidden mystery to challenge the child to think. The books or the stories which attract the children are mostly animal related or children of the same age-group. Here we get an opportunity in which we can make an effort to inculcate the values which we desire our child should possess.
Involvement of grandparents
In joint families, where mother’s remain busy in their household jobs, the help of grandparents comes handy at this point. They can contribute with their stories-” verbal as well with the help of books. Stories help in the congenial bonding between different generations and in this way a habit of reading and listening is developed in a play way method as well. This reading and narrating stories in turn can become fun and a healthy past time for both the generations. It is usually observed that the children living in a congenial atmosphere of a joint family are able to develop patience and tolerance towards each other in a natural way. These children are more sensitive towards other members of the family and are accommodating. This type of character makes them easily adaptable to any kind of new environment.
Narrative techniques of story
Narrative techniques of story due to time constraints it’s not possible for the parents to tell a story each time, so it can be any kind of narration. A description of your journey to the office or some interesting incident of your childhood experience as it relates well to kids. Alongwith listening to their issues and problems in a way as they feel in the day to day life. Incidents related to their peer group, siblings, pets or teachers, even relatives. In this process, we as parents will be able to bond with them and also remain aware of what is going in the minds of the children.
The Right Timing
Though the concept of a right timing is not possible everywhere but is an aspect, which in my opinion, makes a lot of difference for a child. We as elders are engrossed with our mundane chores that we hardly notice the sensitivity of his mental growth. The child has his own pace of understanding and grasping the intricacies of life. The child takes almost everything seriously that even we as elders have not even dreamt off. Their perception differs from us in almost all aspects as they are not biased towards the truth. While reading or listening to the story whatever is told to them they feel it and sometime later may come up with certain surprising queries which are required to be addressed intelligently.
Richard Steel has correctly said, ” Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”