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Help your child read during holidays

By Vision Reporter

Added 18th December 2007 03:00 AM

IT is holiday time again; a time to lay down rules with many dos and don’ts for the child. Welcome to the long holiday! This reminds me of my childhood days when I used to turn holiday time into a nightmare for my parents. It was so frustrating for my mother that she wished there were no holidays

IT is holiday time again; a time to lay down rules with many dos and don’ts for the child. Welcome to the long holiday! This reminds me of my childhood days when I used to turn holiday time into a nightmare for my parents. It was so frustrating for my mother that she wished there were no holidays on the school calendar.

Many parents might be wishing the same. The children get so active that at times you imagine they are going to turn your home upside down. You wish you had a place to keep them until the holiday is over.

How about looking at the holiday as an opportunity in which you can make a huge difference in your child’s life? You could utilise it to help the child develop love for reading. Passion for books is a virtue that can transform your child’s educational destiny.

No teacher or school can instill a reading culture in your child better than you. Isn’t it sad to see bookshops flooded with reading materials while we are complaining about poor reading culture?

There is no better place your child can acquire reading a culture like your home and no better person to instill that culture than you. Wouldn’t a book be an appropriate Christmas gift for your child? Purchasing interesting reading material for your child is an investment you will never regret. Let us find out why your child needs to interact with books from early years.

- A child’s mind is one of the greatest mysteries of God’s creation and it can function amazingly if ignited at the right time. Plutarch, a Greek philosopher, wrote that the human mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited. Extensive reading is one of the best ways this can be done.

Reading offers a productive approach to improving word power. Penelope Leach, a child psychologist, in Your Baby and Child, stresses that no child is too young to enjoy a book. She mentions that reading to your baby at a tender age not only speeds brain development, but also cements your relationship with it.

- Reading widely will stimulate your child to have a creative mind. Reading actually brings out the potentials within the child and opens the way for actualising those potentials. Since books stimulate the brain and enhance a child’s creativity, it is a fact that children who love reading are comparatively more creative and perform better at school.

- Books are invaluable tools for helping your child cope with life’s inevitable challenges. Stories read for pleasure are replete with constructive problem-solving approaches. Your child learns and gets entertained at the same time.

As the child reads a story, he or she shares in the emotional feelings of the characters in the story. This makes books an effective tool for imparting life skills and passing societal values to children.

- Psychologists believe that language is a fundamental tool in thinking and forming concepts. Reading helps to improve your child’s language prowess, hence making them better at analytical thinking.

It is your role to mentor your child into developing an intimate relationship with reading materials. This training calls for patience and quality time. Just like Orville Prescott, a book critic for The New York Times once wrote in his anthology of prose and poetry, Father Reads to His Children: “Few children learn to love books by themselves.

Someone has to lure them into the wonderful world of the written word. Someone has to show them the way.” Will you show your child the beauty of the written word this holiday?

As you buy the books, keep in mind that your child needs you more than any other gift. Merry Christmas!

jwagwau@newvision.co.ug

Help your child read during holidays

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