Back to School Book Blogger Challenge: Day 4 – My Advice for Parents

Back to School Book Blogger Challenge
Day 4 – If you are a parent, or have advice for parents… what do you (or think would work) to foster the love of reading in kids?

image from fyspringfield

My biggest piece of advice would be to first of all get them to start reading when they’re really young, and possibly even teach your kids how to read yourself rather than waiting for them to start going to school/kindergarten. My eight year old cousin didn’t read until she was five and whenever you try to read with her she comes up with the classic excuse of ‘I can’t read’. My mum, on the other hand, taught me how to read when I was only two and read both to me and with me as much as possible, which leads on to my next piece of advice.
Reading isn’t just for bedtime! Lots of kids like bedtime stories to help them sleep but reading isn’t just for one specific part of the day. Set out some time each day to read during the day, to show that reading is for fun, that it’s not a chore and it’s not just to help you go to sleep. I can’t even remember the last time I read before going to sleep.
This next thing I have to say is something that I know not all parents will agree with me on, and it’s to not control too much what your kids read. Obviously don’t let your five year old read Fifty Shades of Grey or The Silence of the Lambs, that’s just common sense. The best way I can explain this is through experience. My family is what I call semi-religious (my mum and my brother go to church, while my dad and I don’t because we don’t like the church that they go to), and the people at the church we’re connected to are pretty sensitive. There’s no way of putting that lightly, they’re really sensitive to a lot of things you’ll see in films rated above 12. And that’s because they’ve always been told ‘you can’t read this, look at the content’ and ‘you can’t watch that, you’re not old enough’. Once I got to a certain age, my parents were perfectly fine with what I read or watched on TV because it doesn’t influence me. If you think that your child is mature enough, then they can move up a reading level when they want to, instead of feeling like they’re stuck reading things that are too easy for them.
And my last piece of advice, which could be given to anybody really, is that it’s okay to not want to read at that moment in time. If you just don’t feel like reading, don’t force yourself to! You could catch up on your favourite TV show, watch a film, beat that level that’s been annoying you in the latest game you’ve been playing, and when you come back to your books you’ll be ready to read!
What advice would you give?


  1. 21/08/2014 / 5:30 PM

    I'm lucky that both my parents are bookworms, so they got my sisters and I to start reading at a really young age, and we had almost daily bedtime stories, if I'm not mistaken. That's why I'm kind of proud of my baby sister — she started carrying books around in her bag while other children the same age as her were still clinging on to their parents' hands. πŸ˜› Now that I think about it, my life would be so different if my parents hadn't introduced reading to me when I was just a toddler.

    "[don't] control too much what your kids read." — I couldn't agree with this more. The church my family and I go to have people exactly like the ones in your mom's church, and frankly, it pisses me off. How are children going to learn what is good or bad for them if all you're going to do is shield them from every "evil" thing they come across? Seriously, I have this youth advisor who disapproved of the Disney film Brave because there was a witch in it. *facepalm* Maybe I shouldn't be too judgemental of their opinion, but it found it so ridiculous. And then I have a couple of friends whose parents won't let them read Harry Potter because it has witchcraft and so is considered evil.

    Those friends are at least fifteen.

    I mean, okay, I respect your decision, but dammit these people aren't babies anymore and they have the ability to think for themselves and decide whether they want to be influenced by such things. It just gets me so mad sometimes.

    ^ Sorry for that rant up there. I just have a lot of pent-up feelings about censorship, so it was a little relieving to dump it all on someone. Hope you don't mind. πŸ˜› But anyways, I totally agree with all your points here. This is one post I'd gladly shove into every parent or soon-to-be parent!

  2. 21/08/2014 / 6:09 PM

    I totally agree with you on the censorship issue! I remember talking to church friends about Sweet Evil before and I could barely get any words out over the "why would you read that" and I was even asked "don't you get worried when you read things like that?" No, because I know for a fact that it's not real. I totally get that people find safety in religion, but that's no excuse to shut their kids off from what goes on in the real world, and even things in fiction. My mum's been told before that she needs to "keep a close eye" on what I read and she just shrugged it off because she knows that I'm fine.

    I don't mind your rant at all, I'm perfectly happy for you to dump it all on me πŸ˜€

  3. 21/08/2014 / 11:00 PM

    I totally agree with you about not being overly controling about what kids read. They end up challenging themselves more than I ever would.

  4. 22/08/2014 / 3:08 AM

    I'm a parent and I agree with not controlling to much what your child reads. I let my son check out whatever he feels like. In most cases he won't even look at books that I would consider inappropriate but will head for books on topic/games/shows he's interested in.
    Sharon @ Sharon's Book Nook!

  5. 22/08/2014 / 3:12 PM

    I agree you can't control and police what they read. When we go to the library my son knows to stay in the kids section and he will pick out graphic novels and novels. He picks out so many books that are all completely different but that is what is great about the library

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