Hello friends. It’s already day 24 of the Blog Marathon month and I feel time is slipping out of my hands at a very fast pace. I was thinking about what to write today and I realized that this month I have not written anything about my world around my kids. My core inner compass of life. I am sure most of us have a long list of Do’s and Don’ts for our kids and also a self designed paradigm for them. The list might be different for all of us but I know for sure that there will be quite a lot of bullet points common in every list. And one of those is inculcating habit of reading at an early age. For me also, it is one of the key habits I want my kids to pick up. While we were kids, our parents made it a point to get us some of the famous children books and magazines of that time, including inspirational true stories of some of the greatest legends. Reading books was part of the afternoon ritual for me and my brother. It was an integral part of my life but somewhere I lost track only to get back around 15 years ago. Although I do read a lot but I have a very strong feeling of loss that I have missed on some precious time in my life. Every age has its own reading preferences and now I can’t go back in yesteryears and clear my backlog. And for my kids I don’t want them to go through this. I wish they pick up reading and enjoy it too because then only it will be embedded in them. So how do we do it?
1. Well if you or your spouse already have a habit of reading then this is where the first stepping stone lies. Children brought up in book laden houses are more likely to pick up reading naturally. But even if you are not one of those reading types, you can start by reading bed time stories to your kids. World of books is certainly magical but to start with, it has to fascinate our little sunshines. So get them colourful story books and read to them every day. Take tiny steps to establish a connection between books and your kids.
2. If you can have a reading hour in the house, then nothing like it. If you are not into reading then you can pick up newspaper or any magazine of your choice but try to get that atmosphere into the house where this habit can breathe and grow.
3. Cut down on the TV hours, both for yourself and kids and invest this time into reading. For me this comes easily because I am a total no TV person and have managed restricting television gazing time for my kids also. Sorry no offence but please get off your own habit of being a slave to the daily soaps. They drag you to this time killer even if you don’t want to.
4. Once in a while arrange a story reading session for the kids and their friends. Don’t worry. We are not professionals but we can try and practice to put up a show in the larger interest of our kiddos. But if you are still vary of this idea; you can take your kids to some story telling sessions in the city. These days it is a regular feature in big cities. If this also doesn’t work then you can discuss with other parents and organize it collectively.
5. Be a regular visitor to book fares and exhibitions. The world of books is self alluring. You have to just take an initiative. But don’t force kids to pick up books of your choice. Let them read what they want to in initial years to build a connection. Once the bond is strong you can guide them into reading good literature and classics.
There can be endless and innovative ways of doing it but these are the few tested and tried by me. I feel blessed that gradually I have been able to achieve this feat in my elder one who now reads on his own and bed time reading is a ritual with him. I am so overwhelmed on days when we have a rather long and tiring day and even when I insist him to sleep, he tells me, ‘mama can I read just one page’. Believe me there is no bigger happiness than seeing your kids moving ahead in life and on the path you have shown them.
So as I sign off for the day, I wish all the parents reading this post very best for this venture. Be a guiding light to your little sunshine. Believe me; time here is worth an investment. And also if you have some more valuable tips to add, I will be glad to hear.
Let me share my happiness with you as I received my copy of ‘Inner Engineering, A Yogi’s Guide To Joy’ by Sadhguru today.
It was a long wait of one month since I ordered this one and can’t wait to start reading it. Probably immediately after I post this blog. Cheers to that :)
And I will see you tomorrow. Good Night.