Dear Parent of the Reluctant Reader,
I feel you.
I know what it is to be you.
I have walked in your shoes not too long ago.
Do not look at my journey now for there is a past to every present.
One of the things I’m absolutely sure about in my life is that of my unwavering love for books. I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember.
My mom was an avid reader and a magical storyteller (the stories she told us were in Urdu). In our household library trips were several times a week and it was impossible not to love books.
Somewhere along the way, I developed an understanding that the love for books came naturally and was something that was passed on from parents to children.
So you’ll believe me when I tell you it was beyond difficult for me to see my daughter as a reluctant reader.
It was harder when she shook her head in disapproval at the sight of a book.
Her soft but firm no, had me wondering if my child would lead a life devoid of the joys of literature.
Call me bonkers, but as a first time mom I think I was really hard on myself and thought my child’s actions were somehow foretelling her future.
I was the one that lacked foresight and the knowledge that children go through too many phases to count and that they ALL develop differently.
It’s the parents that can’t give up for wanting the best for their child.
I remembered leaving things as they were for a while and read with my younger son who seemed to be all about books.
What I didn’t leave was our everyday bedtime story, something the children always welcomed wholeheartedly.
Well after about two years I can say that my daughter did become quite the reader.
She devoured book after book, reading away in the night light. I would feign disapproval and would tell her it was past her bedtime (all the while feeling elated by the all too familiar version of myself looking back at me).
Looking back I can see what I was leaving out of the equation and areas I was fulfilling to help inculcate the love of reading. (My next post about this).
Parents, please do not despair because it is too early to decide your child’s permanent likes and dislikes.
It is too early to give them a label.
If my child can go from reluctant reader to reader, yours can too!
It is too early to give up. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog post,
“How to Raise a Reader?”
P.S: I have a bunch of nicknames.
P.P.S: I am not an expert on child literacy, just penning down my experience with kiddos.