Reading can be a fun or overwhelming activity for children. It may seem to be a simple task to adults, but try learning to read something in a foreign language! Our kids are also undergoing immense pressure to make sense of all the sounds, letters and inferring meaning out of them.
As parents, we naturally want to see our kids excel at just about everything they do. And, observing their kids struggle may come as a hard surprise for some parents.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to accept the fact that every kid has unique developmental milestones. For some kids, reading activity may appear to be a fun task. In contrast, others may have a hard time grasping the meanings.
The secret rests in what a child believes to be true! If your child feels confident enough, they will master the skill consistently and vice versa.
My 4-year-old thinks that she is one of the best readers out there! I have seen her grab the book with an air of confidence. The stories she makes are a combination of what’s actually in the book and her vivid imagination!
It’s all about watching her have fun while reading. You, as a parent, always have to make sure that the element of fun remains intact.
Are you wondering how to help your child build up the confidence to read and enjoy the activity? Gladly, we have some practical tips for you!
Tip # 1: Tap the magic of audio-books!
One of the best advantages of living in a high-tech world is the abundance of resources that we can use. Audio-books happen to be a lifesaver as a conducive resource.
They would help you make the reading activity seem easier and fun for your child. You may go for a regular subscription of audio-books and get your kids more involved.
Tip # 2: Inculcate Love for Listening!
Parents tend to overlook this critical aspect of helping your child boost reading confidence. Listening as an activity is often underrated.
As a parent, you must reinforce your child to listen to ‘audio-books.’ This sparks the creative imagination, and your reinforcement serves as an essential connection. While listening intently, their brains absorb all the new words, language structure, and they can comprehend and imagine.
Tip # 3: Start where they are!
Naturally, we all want our kids to outsmart everyone else. However, it is particularly important to respect and acknowledge the developmental pace of your child. So, instead of forcing them to read advanced books, let them pick their favorites.
Go for the reading level that feels comfortable to your child instead of making them follow the typical grade-levels. Remember that your goal is to make them feel more confident and connect with reading activity in the long run.
Tip # 4: Help them out!
If you observe your child struggling with a difficult word (or just any word), it’s okay to help them and read on. Because while they are in pronunciation tangle, their brain is finding it hard to comprehend the storyline!
Now, you need not overdo it because it also helps to let them try a bit. However, helping them out (with incredibly difficult words) would pay off in the long run.
Tip # 5: Make it even more fun!
Your child shouldn’t dread reading time. It is essential to make the activity as fun as possible. You can do several things to make it happen, one of the most helpful is to read together!
Now, this is fun for your child and you, both. Along with having a cuddly time together, get interactive about the reading material. Talk about the story and help them connect with it. Asking meaningful questions about the story would help them develop a curious interest.
Tip # 6: Give them a Choice!
You have to understand that one size doesn’t fit all. When you allow your child to choose the reading material, you are genuinely empowering them by showing trust in their reading ability.
When you show confidence as a parent in your child’s’ reading ability, you would observe their confidence increases as well.
Let them pick from books, comics, novels, magazines, or reading games to help them develop their unique preferences in reading. And having their preferences would enable them to enjoy the activity better.
Tip # 7: Call it out!
You don’t have to go overboard with this, but it is essential to have openly praised their reading ability. This applies to other achievements of your child as well. Acknowledge whenever they are reading.
Nothing will reinforce their love for reading more than this expression of praise.
Tip # 8: Take it to Your Pet!
This may seem a bit crazy, but it would reinforce the overall reading skills when your child is reading to the pets. You might wonder, “HOW?!”. Well, it’s really simple! Animals won’t be judging your kid at all on how they’re reading to them.
Judgment isn’t about saying a critical statement; it is also about making subtle expressions that may diminish a child’s confidence. So, give it a try!
Tip # 9: Create it Yourself!
This is the most fun! You must put your crafty cap on! Your child would love reading the book that you have created with him/her. You can add a few words and have your child add his/her favorite pictures associated with those words.
All of this would help your kids to recognize the word and connect it with the appropriate sounds. There’s more; your child will not only have loads of fun in the process but would also experience a huge confidence boost.
Tip # 10: Keep it Short
When your child is just developing his/her reading muscles, they may not want to keep doing it for long hours. So, please respect that and let them keep it short. As I mentioned earlier, go with their pace.
Don’t rush or force.
When your child understands that it’s a timed activity and has a short span, he/she would have more fun. On the other hand, try enforcing long hours of reading schedule on your child. And, you would be on a fast-route to losing a reader-in-the-making.
Tip # 11: Show your struggles as well…!
As adults, we are not perfect, so show that to your child. The instinct to be an ultimately ideal role model for your child is overwhelming.
But it is important to understand that showing your vulnerability will also relieve pressure from your child. So, show your child that the struggle is real and common. Also, in the process, they would learn to appreciate the worth of hard work and dedication.
Tip # 12: Say “NO” to Overreacting…!
This is incredibly damaging and can shatter your child’s confidence. While your kids are reading, avoid interfering and correcting them too much.
Remember, it’s more about the fun than getting it entirely right. Your goal is to nourish their confidence. There’ll be plenty of time to build fluency and accuracy.
As a parent, you always want to do the utmost best for your child and help them as much as possible. There’s no greater joy than observing your child excel at everything they do. However, you must understand that ‘reading’ is just another activity at the end of the day. It is also one of the milestones in the development of your child.
So, sooner or later, they are going to achieve it (according to their pace). What is most important is to nourish their confidence and self-esteem associated with it. Doing this gives them a massive advantage in the long-run by helping them experience an ever-lasting love for the reading activity.