Parents can make reading more motivating by letting children choose books and making reading a memorable family event. Find out what children themselves have to say about these guidelines for parents to increase motivation.
Here are a few tried-and-true guidelines from Reading Is Fundamental on how to motivate kids to read, with comments and suggestions from kids themselves.
Let kids pick out their own books
Book choice is a strong motivation for readers young and old. Let kids pick out books at the library or bookstore. It’s almost a sure thing they’ll want to read them. If you pick them out, they won’t.
“Let your children pick out whatever interests them. When I was little, I always picked dinosaur books. My dad would read them to me. I got to pick out any book, and he would read it, no matter how hard it was,” says Brian.
Set goals and reward reading
Reward reading with more reading, we’ve always said. Stop by the library or bookstore for the next book in your child’s favorite series, or let your child shop for it online. Most kids agree, but they don’t also see a problem with more… well, extrinsic rewards.
“Go around your town and find out about contests – you know, like the ones at the library where if you read so many books, you get a reward. Or make up your own,” says Vincent. “If your kid likes ice cream, then every time he finishes, say, two chapter books at least over a hundred pages, then take him out for a little treat.”
Let your kids see you read
Read the newspaper over your morning coffee, take a magazine from the rack in a doctor’s office while you wait, and stuff a paperback into your purse, pocket, or briefcase. Your kids will catch on to the fact that reading is something you like to do in your spare time.
“If parents don’t read a lot in front of kids, and instead watch lots of electronics – like TV and the computer – then the kids will think that’s what they’re supposed to do and they might not read as much,” says Cameron.