HOW TO CHOOSE BOOKS FOR CHILDREN

Often, we are asked this question “How do I choose a book for my child?” The simple answer? Do not choose for them, choose with them. Some of things that we commit most mistakes with when developing skills like reading is in the factor that we often enforce our children to read what may be “right” for them causing many of them to build an aversion to reading, altogether.

Simply put, try to understand what thought process your child possesses, and in order to put on their shoes you will have to first simply get out of society’s shoes of right and wrong, required or unnecessary. Parents and caregivers often use the limited and perhaps biased knowledge about best authors, classics without really trying to understand the primary need of the child. Just because it worked for someone it does not mean it will work for your child, remember, and always respect the multidimensional aspects of your child.

This would also prove to be an exercise of bonding because you will take more time trying to better understand what excites and intrigues your child. What kind of colours and book covers appeal to them? What genres are they drawn to and what kind of stories make them feel the most content. There is no golden rule really, at the end of the day it is an activity that must bring joy. They have enough academic reading to look at, for almost the rest of their entire life. 

It is remarkably close to asking your child the question “What would you like to eat for dinner?”, the child has the potential to respond with their interests. All you have to do is ask. You can always gently and respectfully nudge them to read better and more balanced. If you find yourself pushing them, the books will go the same place the glasses of milk go, into the drain. Also, we must constantly remember these are kids with technology on their side, so their general wit paired with technology needs a tactful tackle. Or you will witness gadgets tucked between the books and the imagination sections of the brain will continue to pick dust as it lacks the fodder it needs. Instead the goal is to encourage and enable your child to be able to read various genres, so that slowly and steadily they begin to develop their own reading habits. It is perhaps a good idea to look at different kinds of series, so your child continues to indulge in the multiple arcs and storylines of their beloved characters.

“By not respecting the reading level and reading speed of your child, by pushing them to read book that they simply don’t understand would acclimate them more and more to feeling that reading is more punishment than a joyful activity. “

Multiple research and our experiences have time and again proved that the habits which are self-motivated will stay longer than the ones children develop simply because of fear of consequences of not doing what’s right.

Many times, we also run after faster reading levels beyond our child’s ability because some random source of information tells us that is what “intelligence” is defined by. By not respecting the reading level and reading speed of your child, by pushing them to read book that they simply don’t understand would acclimate them more and more to feeling that reading is more punishment than a joyful activity.

Today we live in a world where we are exposed to a wide variety of books old and new by authors which we did not have introduction to when we were kids. Hence, while the moral stories from back in the day were well written, the new writing of authors provides more inclusive writing, involving more present-day scenarios and concepts that children can imbibe.

Key Takeaways

  • Avoid making choices for the child, rather make choices for buying books with Involving them in the process will help you nurture your relationship with them and encourage children to tap into their own interests.
  • It is recommended to not look simply at best-selling books and authors but rather what is best for your child’s interests, reading levels and general fascination in genres.
  • Always respect your child’s reading level. Often if we give them to do something as overwhelming and difficult as a higher reading level, they can grow hesitant to the activity.
  • Do not be afraid to explore the wide realm of options available. There is no golden rule to select books, the only thing to remember is the goal is fun!
  • Discover what are the highlights your child picked from the book, so you can understand their thought process even better.

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