We are all more susceptible than we realise to visual clues and how the things we see influence our lives. Advertisers know this only too well and we are being fed subliminal marketing messages every day when we are in shops, driving around in cars, watching TV, reading magazines, reading social media and so on. It’s scary eh?!
However, there are things we can learn from their techniques and how we can use them to advantage. Encouraging kids to do things that we want them to do can be hard. And if it’s something they don’t think they want to do it’s even tougher.
Parents often get fed up with the verbal battles to get our kids to eat healthily, clean their teeth, tidy their rooms, do their homework, and the list goes on.
Sometimes, reading can be another item on the nag list. There are children who naturally love books and barely need any encouragement to read. But some young bookworms need to be grown and developed, nurtured and tended.
One way to do this is to make our homes a reading haven. Get those subliminal messages feeding the minds of our children in a positive way. And avoid engaging in those nagging, argumentative conversations about just one more thing.
Here’s five tips to encourage your children to read without even moving your lips –
- Have lots of books around the house. Have books everywhere. Not just in the bedrooms for bedtime stories but in the playroom, amongst their toys, at the kitchen table, in the car, and so on. Make books a tempting option in every room and different moments during the day.
- Mix up the types of reading material you have lying around. Have simple poetry books or nursery rhymes, include comic books or graphic novels in your collection, mix up the fiction and the non-fiction. Keep it varied and interesting.
- If your children like to have posters on their bedroom walls of their favourite TV characters, movies stars or pop singers maybe you could get them a poster reflecting their favourites stories – Paddington Bear, Harry Potter or their favourite Road Dahl book.
- Make sure they see the grownups in the house reading too. I know it can be hard to find time to read when you’re a busy parent but even if it’s just five minutes when you grab a quick cuppa. If kids never see their parents pick up a book it may communicate that books aren’t as important to us as we’d have them believe.
- Choose to have screen breaks every so often. You choose as a family what you think is reasonable in terms of regularity and for how long, but by doing this we encourage our children to explore different forms of entertainment away from their gadgets.
Here are the favourite books dotted around our family home at the moment –
Dork Diaries – Crush Catastrophe – Rachel Renee Russell
Bad Dad – David Walliams
Doctor Who – The Tardis Handbook – Steve Tribe
The Ruins of Gorlan – Ranger’s Apprentice Book 1 – John Flangan
Share your top tips for getting kids reading in the comments below.