My post yesterday about the Goodreads reading challenge prompted a conversation about sharing your love of reading with your little ones. As I said yesterday, we agree that reading is important and that parents are children’s best role models, so it’s important that parents role model reading for enjoyment.
But with active little ones in the house, it can be very hard to show that you read for pleasure. I read their books to the girls, but how do I show them how much I love to read? It’s not like I can just sit around the house reading all day. (Hmmm, or can I?) When it comes to reading, of course reading aloud is the most important thing you can do for your child. But here are some other ideas to show your young children that you yourself are also a reader:
- Have your books out where they can see them. In addition to our bookcases filled with our books, we also leave our books around the house and let the girls know that those are the ones we are currently reading.
- Talk about books. I love books and talking so this is very easy for me. At the dinner table, we talk about what we are reading, interesting tidbits. We also reference books that we love. (I’ll be honest, in our house that means a lot of Harry Potter references). And of course we talk to the girls about their books as well.
- Read when your children read. At first I thought this was impossible with little ones. Now when the girls are looking at books, I get out my book to read. I try to sit with them during their quiet time at least a few times a week and read my book as well. They especially love laying on our bed looking at books together.
- Let them look at your magazines and books. Of course you want to be sure that the magazines are appropriate for them to look at but the girls love flipping the pages in my magazines and making up stories.
- Share books that used to be yours. If you have any books leftover from when you were little, share them with your kiddos and tell them about how much you loved them. If you don’t, see if you can find copies of your favorite childhood books and share those.
- Show interest in your children’s books. Usually the girls choose which books we will read, but sometimes my husband or I pick the books. We will talk about which ones are our favorites or why we want to read a certain book. It’s hard to make your children interested in reading if you show no interest in the books they choose. And try to not sigh or complain if you hate a book they like.
But what if you aren’t a reader yourself? Well, then this is one of those times you fake it until you make it.