Reading Tips for Parents
Reading! That is something you don't catch kids doing enough of. We live in the world of TV and movies. And let's not forget video games.
I will say that I have played a few video games in my life and I even still have an Xbox sitting in my living room. I'm about to be a dad and I still have my Xbox. It is kind of funny when I think about my parents generation. But they didn't grow up with video games like we did. I remember getting our first Nintendo (the original) when I was about 5 or 6. I barely even remember the Atari days. So video games are something that our generation grew up with. Now, my Xbox stays wrapped up in the entertainment center and only comes out every couple of months on special occations.
I guess I say all that to say that my generation grew up on video games and TV. And when I look at kids today who are still in school, I see them with even more distractions than we had. Not that video games are bad or that all TV is bad. But TV and games can not replace reading.
I'm a strong believer in reading. I am blessed to have parents who first set a great example by always reading themselves but also by encouraging us to read. Reading helps us think. Reading is one of the most important habits a person can have. We all have habits but I believe very few people really have a habit of reading books. Most people today have more of a TV habit than a reading habit.
So as I am about to be a father, I certainly want to encourage my son to read. I won't have to help him develop the habit for games or TV. I think the world will naturally take care of that. As a parent, I feel it is our job to help create the hunger for reading.
The U.S. Department of Education has a section on their website which gives some Reading Tips for Parents. I found some very useful information that I will apply in our lives.
One of the best tips that I saw was about reading to your child. This is what it says:
Read to your baby every day starting at six months of age. Reading and playing with books is a wonderful way to spend special time with her. Hearing words over and over helps her become familiar with them. Reading to your baby is one of the best ways to help her learn.
I do believe in the power of reading to a child. I think it has many advantages. I don't know why they say to start at six months. I know we will be reading to our baby even before that.
The site also said this which I liked:
Help your child see that reading is important. Set a good example for your child by reading books, newspapers and magazines.
This goes back to what I mentioned about my parents. I caught my parents reading all the time. They taught me more with their actions than their words. I want to do the same thing for my children.
And I really loved that the U.S. Department of Education said this about TV:
Limit the amount and type of television you and your child watch. Better yet, turn off the television and spend more time cuddling and reading books with your child. The time and attention you give your child has many benefits beyond helping him be ready for success in school.
Limiting TV! That is a big one. I think it is just as important for adults as it is for kids to limit the amount of TV we watch. I know it can be addicting to watch TV and movies. But reading can be addicting too. I plan to use these tips shared by the U.S. Department of Education.
There are some more great tips for parents at www.ED.gov.