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Reading is more than just a pastime, it is something that is required of all of us as we go through life. People that enjoy reading usually have an easier time through school, as well as throughout their lives. It is hard to acquire a taste for reading as an adult, so it is important that reading is presented to young children for enjoyment. That way it is something that they can carry with them for their whole life, not only for enjoyment, but for success too.

To get your child interested in reading you must invest yourself and your time with them. Children don’t even have to know their alphabet before it is time for you to sit down with them and a book. Start with picture books, for the very young child. Point at all of the objects in the book and say what they are, what color they are, what they’re used for, etc. It doesn’t matter that your child doesn’t understand everything that is being said, because you are building their vocabulary and expanding their world. It is imperative that you go very slow with young children. Take your time with each object. Give them time to point to the pictures as well. Soon, they will start sounding out the words for the objects and learning their colors.

As your child grows into the toddler stage, keep books in their life. Spend time each day with them going through their books at whatever rate they want to. You will need to leave your busy world and enter a world of patience for a small time every day. Take pleasure in the delight that your child will find in the books that you explore together. Visits to the local library can be a fun outing for you to take together. Let them take their time selecting some books to borrow. This will teach them responsibility, as you teach them to take good care of borrowed items and return them on time. They will look forward to visiting the library and selecting new books.

From toddler to pre-schooler you will see quite a change in your child’s book interest if you have dedicated and shared in story time together. You will see your child sitting alone with their books, just paging through and enjoying. They will have some of their favorite books memorized, and will help you through the story if you allow them to. This is where you need to keep on encouraging them, and also give them some freedom to explore on their own.

It is important at every stage your child goes through – all the way through high school to take interest in what your child is reading. Always let them know that you enjoy discussing their books with them, and always be encouraging. If books are exciting for children, then those “yucky” textbooks that they have to get through in school will be a little easier to understand. Reading is something that you just can’t get by without in this day and age, so why shouldn’t we encourage our children to enjoy it so that they can succeed at it?