Know how important reading is for your children!

Turn off the TV, the computer, and the cell phone. Take the phone off the hook, curl up on the couch / bed with your child… and embark on a journey into a land of fantasy!

Involve your child in the story by predicting what might happen next and evaluating the characters’ actions or attitudes. This bonding time is sacred – with phones off, you are saying to your child that they are more important to you than the outside world. This closeness builds love and trust, and affirms the child’s value in the family.

It is this bond that makes discipline so much easier. What you read to them can open so many doors – discussions on behaviours that uphold or even challenge your family values. Predicting outcomes is so valuable in terms of empathy, comprehension, and creative thoughts or reasoning. Listen to your child. Encourage communication. If you or your children can read in a car and not get car sick, don’t waste your time on car DVD players.

There is such a variety of reading material out there – it is guaranteed that there is something to suit even the most reluctant reader. Don’t nag them to read – initiate the experience – and provide the space, opportunity and the material.

From the time your child starts to read on their own, please read what they are reading – even if it is a few pages after they have gone to bed. If you can comment on their books / characters / situations in their book, you are sharing an experience in their lives and cementing a bond that is very special.

From age 12, there is so much unsavoury reading material out there! Please KNOW what they are reading – what is shaping their views, their morality, and their personalities. Don’t settle for fashion trends because you want to be popular with your child; understand the importance of guiding your child in their choice of reading material. However, be flexible, and give them the space to devour what they enjoy. Encourage girls to read some non-fiction, encourage boys to read some fiction.

Join the local library!

Give books as presents – there are companies like Books 2 You that import “over runs” and sell them here very reasonably.

Get a group together – nine of your child’s friends – to form a book club. Meet once a month and let them swop books, share a little about their “brilliant read” and let them go away with a couple of new books for the month. Remember…

Readers ARE Leaders!

Julia Knowler Sherin Books and Charts

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