J A Browne

The Habit of Reading Part Two

The Habit of Reading Part Two

We all have good and bad habits.

We all know children have some really gross habits. Believe me, as an ex-teacher, I like to think I’ve seen them all.

  • Picking their nose
  • Eating their hair
  • Eating other children’s hair
  • Picking their nose and… you know what comes next
  • Eating pencils
  • Not flushing toilets
  • Not washing hands after said toilet trip
  • Biting nails filled with thick black lines of dirt

Often as a child, one healthy habit is being read to at bedtime. Getting all snuggled up under the covers. Torches or nightlights on.

But as children grow up, this healthy habit often becomes lost. Books are increasingly replaced by gadgets or gaming. So, you might be wondering how can you help your child rediscover this healthiest of habits.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. Your child’s bedroom doesn’t have to have floor to ceiling bookshelves like you see on #Booktok so they can take shelfies to send to their friends.

This one is free!

Where Better?

The library.

Being a habitual visitor of your local library once a week or fortnight depending upon how quickly your child gobbles up books means it’s raising the value of books and storytelling in your home.

Something, I believe, every parent should be doing. Why?

Because as a former teacher, the one question I was repeatedly asked year-in-year-out was How can I help my child do better?

My answer was always the same: read.

Reading is the fundamental life skill after the most basics like walking and talking.

And not only is the library free, but it’s filled with experts! You have free access to experts in their field that you, and more importantly, your child can speak to and build a relationship with.

A Cautionary Tale

Some parents – just some – can be inclined to think they know books as a subject matter better than a librarian and believe they know what their child should be reading.

I’m gonna call this out. You possibly or probably don’t. So, trust the librarians you have access to because they are one of the best, free resources in the world to help you (the parent) with your child’s reading. And children need healthy reading habits more than ever imho.

Ultimately, the books chosen are the child’s choice, but a librarian’s guidance is invaluable.

We’ve all heard of the world’s top gurus and motivational speakers etc. And they charge an obscene amount of money for access to their knowledge. And yet here we have a precious (and under attack) untapped resource.

So, my advice… start tapping ; )

Because reading is one of the healthiest habits for your child. For their mental health, their emotional literacy, the development of empathy and understanding of life and for the regulation of hormones and stresses that come with being a child growing up in the world in the 2020s.

Image courtesy of Oliver Jeffers – The Incredible Book Eating Boy

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