Where are your books in comparison to the TV? Can your child turn on a TV but can’t reach his books? If so, it’s safe to guess how your child will tend to spend their free time. Fill their bookshelves and the family room bookshelves with books of interest and make TV or computer time something that is scheduled. This will give books a lead in the competition.
Don’t let books compete with the TV or a computer. Your child will cherish 15 minutes of time reading aloud with you far greater and longer than 2 hours of watching television or being on the computer.
Set a time every-night, or every other night, where the TV goes off, no matter what. Don’t give the idea to your child that you are turning the TV off for book reading time. You can ask your child if they want you to read aloud with them. If they don’t want a story, that’s ok. However, the TV is never turned back on that night. Research shows, kids who watch 10+ hours of TV weekly struggle with reading compared to families where limits of TV watching have been set.
Before having our son, we used to turn our computers on in the morning and during breakfast. Now on our kitchen table, we keep a couple of magazines and a newspaper. In the mornings, everyone has their read for breakfast. We took one of the toy magazines, from the post, to add to our breakfast collection for our son. He loves to have his “own” magazine to “read” from and comments throughout breakfast about the different cars, kids playing basketball, colorful puzzles and other exciting things he sees in the magazine.
Reading is such a gift that you can give to your child by encouraging them to read.
Read daily to your child and it is NEVER too young to start reading!