When your children see you reading you are telling them that reading is fun, that it's something worth spending your time doing, and that it's a normal and expected part of your day. Children who see their parents read for pleasure are more likely to read for fun themselves. In a perfect world we would all have copious amounts of time to read leisurely while our children read quietly in our immaculate homes. Reality is not perfect.
Even when parents are reading for fun many are making time to read when their children aren't there to witness it. I often fall into this group. I read at night after my children are asleep and on the treadmill while running at the gym. Can you relate? They don't see me read as much as I would like. How can we promote reading, show our children that we are reading for fun even if they don't see it with their own eyes?
When life gets busy and I don't have time to be the reading role model I want to be I have found other ways to let my children know that I love to read for fun. Here are 5 simple ways I have been a reading role model for my children when life gets busy:
- Talk about the books you are reading. In the car, at the dinner table… a few positive mentions every now and then can make a big impact.
- When you go to the library/bookstore to get books for kids make sure you grab one for yourself. There were a few years where most of these books would go unfinished at my house but my young children still got the message that reading was something I looked forward to doing.
- Take reading material with you when you travel. I always have reading materials with me on planes and even though I usually end up reading very little my children see how important reading is to me, and even ask "Mom did you remember your book?"
- Get a magazine subscription for yourself. When the subscription arrives every month make a big deal about how excited you are and you will be letting your kids know that reading is worth getting excited about.
- Ask for book gifts for yourself for holidays and birthdays.
How do you show your kids that you read for fun? What about when life gets seriously busy? Tell us on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page!
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