Reading Versus Watching Television With Your Tots
by Rhonda Reyes
Television has really become a kid's baby sitter in many households today, and this is not only sad, but can also be one of the reasons our younger generation is not as smart or educated as past generations. It is important for parents to make sure that their kids are reading, but it is also just as important that they are reading things that they enjoy which will get them to want to read more.
No matter what, every family should set aside at least an hour every evening for family reading. There are many advantages to this. One of them certainly is that reading to or with your kids helps them develop better reading skills, comprehension levels, and an interest in things beside TV and movies. The other important aspect of family reading time is that it gives you all a chance to sit down as a family and spend time together. With one or both parents working to make ends meet, children can at times feel neglected, thinking that your job is more important than they are.
So how do you encourage reading in your family? Well for one thing, get feedback from your kids. If they don't already have a favorite book or author, ask them about their interests. For example, many kids in general like the movies about Harry Potter, or the Lord of The Rings. These movies are based on books, and so you can get them to read more by buying these series of books. You can tell then that while movies provide some detail, they can never fit all the things from books into a movie. Again, the movies mentioned above are a perfect example of the differences between books and these movies, many important events have been left out of the movie, which are really an intricate part of the books.
Set aside a specific time that your child should read on their own, and provide a comfortable space for them to read. Include a book shelf, where an assortment of different books on subjects they are interested in are put. You can also go to their school and ask their teachers which subjects your kids are learning about, and find fun books to read that are on these kinds of subjects.
Take your kids to book stores and let them look around at their leisure. If they are always interested in comic books, there are many books that aren't comics, but have the same characters, or even graphic novels. If nothing else, you can compromise with them, and agree to let them have one comic for every two other regular books they buy.
There are many different things you can do to get your kids interested in reading more, but the best idea is to get them reading at an early age. The earlier your kids get into the habit of reading, the more they will read as they get older. Remember, as your kids get older, their interests change, and so you have to keep up on the things they are interested in.
Another way to help your kids is by asking them questions about what they have read, so you know that they understand what they are reading. You also want to make sure that the books they read are appropriate for their reading level. You don't want them to get bored of course, but you also don't want the books to have so many hard words that they get discouraged.
Rhonda Reyes is a writer for My Baby Bedding Shop. Rhonda is also the parent of two children and a retired teacher.