As parents and teachers, we hope to give the children we love strong values, traditions, and a clear moral compass. Using our own lives as an example for them to follow is by far the strongest way to do that. However, I think there is a subtle, but powerful, gift we can give our children that we sometimes overlook: a love of reading.
In books, children can find an un-judgmental peek into a confusing world. They can see hundreds of examples of other people, the choices they make and the good or bad that comes from those choices. They read stories about kids just like themselves…and very different from themselves. These stories help shape the people our children eventually become.
Unfortunately there’s a sad disconnect that starts to happen around the time our kids hit their middle grade years – a time when they need strong examples more than ever. As they move on from fun little picture books and chapter books into more challenging material, many of them will stop reading for pleasure; especially boys.
I won’t get into why this happens in this post (there are plenty of articles about that already). What I will do is talk about my own experiences raising a child who is an avid reader and provide insights on what I’ve learned.
One thing I know for sure. A love of reading is not accidental. A love of reading is a gift we give our children.