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Five Tips to Encourage your Child to Read

For many of us, instant gratification is the default. Almost all forms of entertainment are right at our fingertips. A few clicks and we're browsing in our Netflix accounts, or scrolling through our social media feeds. But what are we giving up when our minds are always preoccupied with passive entertainment?

Our attention spans suffer and the concept of patience and "delayed gratification" becomes more and more difficult to withstand. As hard as it is to admit, our kids have a front-row seat to this show.

Countless studies have shown the psychological and physical pitfalls of overdosing on fast, easy entertainment. The self-care movement is now in full swing, asking us to go slow, be mindful, and take the time to really experience life.

One of the most fulfilling ways to engage in self-care and battle this fast-paced mentality is to slow down with a book. The benefits of reading for adults are immense; the benefits for kids are astronomical.

Here are some super easy tips to encourage your kids to read:

  • Read for yourself! Your kids absorb your habits, so if you enjoy reading, chances are they’re going to reach for a book, too.
  • Make books accessible to them. Keep them in a basket on the ground or on a low shelf so they can grab one whenever they want.
  • Let them choose the books they want to read. Even if they want to read silly comic books or funny graphic novels, they're still developing their vocabulary and reading skills.
  • Create positive associations around reading. Reward them for every new title they read, or make your trips to the library and bookstore feel really special and celebratory.
  • Sit them in your lap and read to them! They might want to read the same book 100 times, but research actually shows they learn vocabulary through repetition, and find a sense of control and comfort in the routine.
Just like any other life skill, reading has to be developed and nurtured. How do you encourage your kids to read?

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