Read if you have kids under 5 years or planning to have one.
So it’s too late for you, you are now 40+ and the very thought of reading a book makes your eyes as heavy as a mountain, while that very successful colleague of yours reads books like you gulp down a beer. What difference does it make you might ask, how about this :
“An average CEO reads about 4-5 books in a month compared to an average person’s 2-3 in a year” (Of course I’m talking about right kind of books)
Hence that colleague of yours has a better chance of becoming a CEO than you. This explains why some people get stuck in their professional life despite having talent. You see they’re just like you, their relationship with books is like that of a “patient and anaesthesia”, they fall unconscious as soon as they’re near a book.
Like you, it is late for me too. However, I realized just in time to influence a different path for my children. Today I know that my children have a better chance of becoming a CEO than I ever had ( what they want is a different story). What gives me this confidence “their interest in reading books”. My 11-year-old daughter loves it so much that she finishes a book in 2-3 days together with her studies and she is currently working on her own youtube channel.
How I developed reading skills/habits in my kids?
Contrary to the belief (At-least my own), it is quite simple but one has to be persistent and patient. Developing reading skills in kids is like preparing them for an extremely fruitful and successful long-term relationship. It is both an art and science much like “Management” and has to be practised diligently. Follow the below advise:
- Start Early: How early? Sooner the better, In Mahabharata “Abhimanyu” learnt the tricks while he was in the mother’s womb. I’m not suggesting that you start that early however a child starts paying attention at the age of 6 months hence that is the time to introduce him/her to books.
- Develop a routine: Make it a habit to read a story every day to the child and if he/she asks for another, accept gladly. This routine works better if conducted by the father in most of the cases (Strange but true). Do it diligently without fail and it will yield results.
- Be a role model: Even though you’re not an avid reader keep buying the books and read in front of them. Seeing their father holding a book every night would also inspire children(Make it a point that you read in front of children).
- Sell the Idea of reading to a kid: You’re a marketing guy, you know how to create both pull and push. Create some excitement around the reading routine. Read aloud in a dramatic fashion, Discuss the story, build the hype for the next session and create landmarks appreciate the child for his attention and discussions. The child will look forward to the every night session with you and once the interest is built it is easier to carry it forward.
- Create ownership: Create an environment of reading, Keep a small bookshelf in the room for child’s books and give him/her ownership of this shelf. He/She should know that the shelf belongs to him/her.
Here’s a recommended set of books for children
- Make regular visits to Book-stores/Fairs: Show special interest in these visits and discuss what books to buy. Suggest but do not force, interest will develop over time what is important right now is to develop the reading habit. Point of caution, do not replace other gifts with books (books has to be over and above). If you give books on every occasion, the child will eventually hate books.
- Pass the baton: Once the child can read, responsibility can be shared but do not completely shift it. I do “One story each” with my 5-year-old son and sometimes if he’s not interested in reading, I do 2. The important thing is that the routine has to be followed with interest.
- Upgrade to Kindle: When the child is old enough i.e. 8-9 years, gift him/her a kindle. Children not only love a gadget of their own but it is also very convenient for them to carry in their back-pack while travelling. It is also economical to buy books on kindle however this does not mean that paper version will be completely out.
If the advice is followed diligently and patiently, it is bound to succeed and the child will definitely grow to be an avid reader and will have a better chance of becoming a CEO (definitely better than you) if he/she wants to i.e.
Disclaimer : Author does not like to read but has been successful in turning his children into book lovers.
#readinghabits #booklovers #storiesforchildren