I have come across many parents that ask themselves the age old question, "Why doesn't my child like to read?" I do not have a confrontational personality and although I am a great listener, I do not have the guts to tell people what is really on my mind most of the time. In this case, I am usually thinking- "He does not read, because you did not instill a love for reading in them." But as I mentioned before, I do not usually say that out loud.
I know what a home with children looks and sounds like. It is 5:00PM and mom and dad are just about getting home. Mom rushes to make dinner while dad gets started on checking the homework. Dinner's ready! Bath time is next all while the laundry is getting done and the dishes are being put in the dishwasher. Oops! Did anyone remember to walk the dog? What do you mean picture day is tomorrow?
The last thing anyone wants to do when you are placing your good night kisses on top of your little angels' foreheads is to stop completing the tasks on your running To-Do List and read them a bed time story before they drift off to sleep. This, however, is where the love of reading begins. By reading to your child from an early age, does not guarantee that he/she will become the next J.K. Rowling but it does demonstrate that books have value. The act of reading not only peaks their interest, but it also teaches fluency and exposes them to new vocabulary. Reading to or with your child can ocurr at any age, but it is most effective for children ages 4-8. At this age, they are still learning how to be better readers and are building the habits that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Not only does the act of reading for enjoyment with your child help them to become better readers, but it is also a great bonding time for families. So many great discussions could arise from the simple act of finishing a book together. So many parents look tirelessly for ways to connect on a deeper level with their children. A great way would be to discuss the literature that you are reading together. I realize that our days our packed with things that really do need to get done. The problem with the To Do List is that it really NEVER ends! There is always something that can keep you from reading to or with your child. The payout, however, will be all the greater if you do! Don't ask yourself "Why doesn't my child like to read?" if you have never tried to show them just how great reading really can be! Of course there are always exceptions to the rules. It is possible that reading is really just not your child's favorite thing to do, but when you read to your child and introduce them to new worlds and stories, it could change their lives for the better!