While shopping in the store the other day, I ran into an old friend. After talking for a few minutes I noticed my kids growing restless. “Hold on just a few more minutes, and then we will be on our way to the bookstore.” This sentence was met with squeals of joy and excitement. Their joy did not go unnoticed by my friend.
“What is that about?” She asked. “How did you do that? I have never seen kids get so excited about going to the bookstore? My kids would look at me like I was crazy if I’d said that to them.”
“My kids love reading.”” I responded.
“I can see that,” She replied. “But how did you get them to love it? All my kids wan to do is play video games.”
I had to think about it for a minute. At the time I just took it for granted. I never thought I was doing anything special. I still don’t. But since she seemed to think it was, I started thinking about what I was doing. So for those of you who want to know the “secret.” I thought I would share some of the things I did, plus those of a few others. Really, all I did was model what our parents had done for us.
1. Read to Your Children Everyday. Sounds simple enough right? But you would be surprised how many parents don’t do it. I started reading to my children as soon as they were old enough to sit up in my lap and turn a book page. Now initially, all they wanted to do was eat the book, but that’s okay. They learned that books were fun-even if in their mind they were just fun to eat! Our kids are older, and can read for themselves, but we still read to them at night before bed. The special voices and inflections we use help bring the characters to life, and make the reading process more fun and meaningful. Plus they get to ask questions, which leads to other conversations and opportunities to bond with our children. Again, they are learning that books are fun! Fathers, this is even more important, because studies show that kids whose fathers read to them regularly are also more confident and less likely to engage in aberrant behaviors later in life. Read More