What were your favorite children’s books?
You’re a reader. You’re at least reading this, so we’ll count it. You may not be a prolific reader, but we’re guessing you value books. So that raises the question how do you raise a reader? And does it matter? We’d argue that yes, it does. Why? Because the best way to expand your mind, to challenge your beliefs, to escape, and to arm yourself with information is through reading.
Like most things in life, your kids will learn by watching you. To start, don’t make it look like work. What was your favorite book as a little kid? What about your favorite chapter book? Are you smiling? Hold onto that. That’s the spirit you want to bring to reading. Likewise, reading shouldn’t be something you reward – no gold stars! Reading should be something kids get to do; not something they have to do or plow through to earn a different satisfaction. So what can you do? To start, decide to read in your spare time instead of looking at your phone or watching tv. Start really, really early. You may not think it matters when they’re just a few months old, but it does. Talk about books – at dinner, in the car, after school – anywhere and everywhere.
Looking for a great baby gift? Books are excellent. But then read it to the baby when you go visit.