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The importance of being a “reader” cannot be emphasized enough. Individuals who read regularly are often at the top of their class, and income level. They generally are more intellectually curious, have greater imaginations, and show greater empathy towards their peers.

But how can you encourage your child to be a better reader? The below are 5 simple tips.

1. Monkey See, Monkey Do

If your children see you read, and hear you talk about what you are reading, they are much more likely to follow in your footsteps and pick up a book themselves. No matter how much they will fight it, we all become our parents at some point! Show to them how important reading is by turning off the tv, putting down the tablet, and picking up an actual book.

2. Read To Your Child

No matter the age, never stop reading to your kids! It is an amazing bonding time that will create memories for their entire lifetime. You can make it a regular ritual, or something that is an out of the ordinary event such as always reading X story on X day. Either way, make it a fun family activity to show how great it is to read a book.

3. Be Cognizant

If you notice that your child has no interest in reading, do a quick evaluation and determine if they seem to be struggling. If you think your child is struggling, check in with their school and see if they think additional help might be needed. For those younger children that are just starting out, spend extra time with them going over their reading lessons. Make sure it is a fun experience. Lots of special bonding time while they learn a fun new skill.

4. Topics Do Matter

Ensure that your kids are able to read about things that interest them. Maybe your daughter is not terribly interested in the latest young adult fiction, but she’s a total science geek. Make sure to be on the lookout for topics that will be hard for them to avoid and keep their hands off of. Everyone has that one area that they totally nerd out to, so exploit it for their own good!

5. Motivate Them To Understand How Reading Opens Up Many Doors

It is important that from the very start a child understands what an amazing communication skill reading is. It is not just reading, but writing as well. In order to write, you must know how to read. Reading is communicating news, sports scores, writing and receiving a note from a best friend, seeing what that holiday card from a favorite aunt says, etc. Reading is everywhere, and it is a huge motivator for a young child to understand all of the doors it opens. “Look, the ice cream shop has more than just ONE flavor, dad! I can read the menu myself!”

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