My mother was not much of a reader and my father loved books. But both of them were quite intent on me reading. Unsurprisingly, I credit my reading habits to them. Growing up with books was helpful, but growing up with parents who pushed me to read was what sealed the deal. While I had always flipped through the many collections of children’s books lying around in my house, I distinctly remember being forced to read my first library book. But it was smooth sailing from there!

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I credit my parents for making me a reader because I believe reading is easiest to pick up in one’s formative years. As you grow older you might find yourselves having neither the time nor the energy to read, let alone develop reading habits anew. So, I am grateful to my parents for not leaving me on my own in the reading department. Support your child through their reading journey, and I guarantee, they will be thankful too. Even when they grow older and get only an hour a day to read, books will be a welcome solace and a warm friend. So here are four ways in which you can gift your child the friend that will, without doubt, be a “good influence” in their lives!

Read to your child:

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First things first, pick up a book, read to your child. If you are unable to do this, the next best thing to do for a young reader is to find read-along stories on the Freadom app or YouTube. They will, in fact, help your child pick up correct pronunciations. But make sure to keep an eye on your child’s progress so that you can make them transition to reading on their own when they are ready.

Click here to view a read-along story on the Freadom app.

Have your child tell you a story:

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Show your child that you are interested in what they are doing. Have them read a story for you. Young children, like everyone else, love appreciation. So let them know that you value their hobbies and interests and be a part of their reading journey.

Go book shopping with your child!:

This is my top pick because this is what my parents always did. And voila, it worked! Go to libraries, go to book shops, go to book exhibitions. Make reading an event! But times are different now. So, digital libraries like Freadom are a good way to go. Sit down with your child while they pick out the books they want to read. You can choose some books for them as well. If bookshops are closed, you can buy books for them online. Growing up around shelves of books is always a wholesome experience.

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Click here to read our guide for non-reader parents who want to get their children to read.

Gifts!:

Books make great gifts. In my opinion, they are the greatest of gifts! So buy your child a collection for their next birthday. And when you do get the chance to start visiting libraries again, make the journey more pleasurable by buying them a little treat. That’s what my father did. A Sharjah shake after an hour of browsing for new books! And boy, did I love library visits all the more for that!

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