Most Nigerian parents desire that their children (young ones) develop a reading habit but they are ignorant of the fact that they may be responsible for the child’s inability to read.
Reading is very important for every person to grow and also increase knowledge. Children don’t understand the importance of reading and the responsibility rests on the parents to cultivate the habit.
For a reading habit to be cultivated in a child, there are some things parents should desist from doing. These are five (5) things parents should not do:
Forcing a child to read books bigger than his/her age
The first thing every parent that wants to cultivate reading habit in their child must know is that there are books suitable for children at a particular age bracket. For example, a four-year-old child may not be able to understand what is inside an Encyclopedia.
Books you should get for your children must be books they can easily relate to and enjoy reading. Toddlers and young children love storybooks filled with colors and pictures.
Distracting a child when reading
Most Nigerian parents are fond of calling a child when the child is already engrossed in reading. Distracting a child when he or she is busy reading can cut that child off totally from what has been read before and can also disturb the process of assimilation.
As a parent, before asking a child to do anything for you when he or she is reading, try to wait a bit, do not shout the child’s name and if that child is a bit grown, you can write what you want to say in a paper and place it beside him/her.
Restricting a child to only read class books
Some parents are fond of giving their children odd instructions like ‘you must read only books given to you in your class alone so you can come first.’ This kind of instruction may seem good but the negative effect is that when there is no school activity, that child will not read at all.
Children should learn from different areas so as to build a reading habit. This makes them cultivate a reading habit that is continuous whether they are in school or not.
When reading becomes boring
A child will never gain anything when reading is boring. Reading can be boring when the child does not understand anything from what he/she is reading. Parents should try to be aware of what their children are reading and not just giving out instructions.
You can sit with your child and ask questions about what he/she has been reading and when the child seems to be blank, give a helping hand by assisting in reading and not spanking or yelling at the child.
Creating fear in a child
Some parents are used to making their children afraid of reading as they are always yelling or shouting at the child when they don’t see him/her reading. For a child to understand and assimilate well when reading, it must be in a conducive environment with love and care.
Fear will only produce a child that will always pretend to be reading but is actually not gaining anything from the forced exercise by his/her parent.
All the above-listed points can kill reading habit in your child, which makes it important for parents to be careful with the measures they use in cultivating the reading habit.