Do you despair that your older children don’t read? 

family reading

Perhaps you are the problem.

Do your children see you regularly pick up a book and read?  Like everything in life, your children are more likely to model your behaviour.  If they don’t see you reading (as in reading books not just the newspaper or magazines), then by default you are implying that reading has little value as an activity.

Do you set aside time each day for reading?  We all lead busy lives and with the addictive nature of screen activities (computers, iPads, phones), it is often difficult to find time to read.  I believe that in our busy lives the easiest way to ensure that reading time is not lost it to make reading a part of our children’s bedtime routine.  Make it a non-negotiable, just like cleaning your teeth or having a shower.

Most importantly of all, are you still reading to your child?  Your children are never too old to be read to and it is a great way to keep tabs on what your children are reading and to strengthen your relationship bonds.  Some families all listen to the same book being read. However, I preferred to make this a one-on-one time with my children.  I would go into each of my children’s bedrooms when they were reading and ask if they would like me to read to them.  Without fail, they would say, ‘Yes’.  I would read to them for as much time as I had available.  This strategy is also a great way to ensure that your children have read the texts that they are required to read in their high school English course!!

On those long car journeys’, instead of giving your children an iPad to use in the car, read a book or as a family listen to an audio book.

Remember, if you want your children to be lifelong readers, you have to stay integrally involved in keeping them reading.

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