Read and Let Read!

Posted by Ranjani Indrajith on 25.11.2021

Why children should choose their own books

Picture this.

You walk into a bookstore with your child. You quickly refer to the list of books you had saved,  "What my 9-year-old should read."

Thoughts running in your mind

  • Which book will increase her vocabulary?
  • Which one will teach him moral values?
  • Which one has general knowledge as well as a bit of fun thrown in at the same time?

Suddenly, your chain of thoughts is interrupted when your child comes to you with a pile of books that they have chosen. And suddenly, the parent in us takes over and we start judging them.

  • “This one is too short… you will finish it in a day.” You do a quick ROI calculation and put that book aside in the not-rejected stack.
  • “This one has no value addition. Pure waste of time. You won't learn anything.”
  • “This one is too expensive. Maybe next time.”

And so out of the 10 books that your child brought to you excitedly, six have gone into the rejected pile and four have been accepted but only after much persuasion and convincing from the child's end. 

But do you know what else might have gone into that rejected bin?

  • Enthusiasm
  • Motivation
  • Creativity
  • Empathy
  • Habit

Yes! You might have just interrupted the formation of a Budding Reader. 

As experts have stated, to inculcate the habit of reading in children, begin with letting them read whatever they can lay their hands on. There is no "have to" when it comes to reading. As parents, we can always be there to guide them regarding genres and age-appropriate titles but no books should be forced upon them. 

Harry Potter won't feel unwanted if your child doesn’t pick him. It's ok if he doesn’t want to learn ‘How to Train a Dragon’ (not literally!). Let them be happy while laughing over the adventures of Captain Underpants and learning a few jokes from Tom Gates or the Wimpy Kid

Reading is a personal experience and the rule of “one size fits all” doesn’t work here.

Let them follow their interests and a reading habit will follow. 

If that sounds too risky to you, one other way is to reach a compromise. Out of the five books that the child gets to buy, three could be of their choice and the remaining two can be your own recommendation. That way, we strike the right balance.

Letting children choose their own books helps foster a lifelong love for reading, improves their decision-making skills, makes them independent, builds confidence, and improves their critical thinking abilities.

We as parents must stop judging our child’s book preferences. If a child has a great experience reading the book they have chosen, the possibilities are that they would want to do it AGAIN. And chances are that they might pick up the same genre or author, or something entirely different. But what’s important is that the child ends up with a book in their hands!

Let’s make a conscious effort to stop worrying about the length, number of pages, and other minutiae when it comes to books, and just let our children be. Let’s practice the philosophy of ‘Read and Let Read.’

Reading can never be a waste of time. It's an investment. Money and time spent on books are like Fixed Deposits. The ROI may differ from book to book but it's sure to pay off.

So, the next time you walk into a bookstore, leave the Mommy or Daddy in you at home and walk in with the enthusiasm of a nine-year-old who wants to make new friends. And what better friends than BOOKS, BOOKS & MORE BOOKS! 

About My Chapter One

My Chapter One helps children dive into the world of books and fall in love with reading. It maneuvers kids away from digital entertainment and towards wholesome real-time fun, through reading sessions and activities devoted to iconic books. My Chapter One handpicks reading instructors who guide children towards becoming independent readers, and subsequently, more imaginative, empathetic, and academically-inclined individuals. All in all, our company’s goal is to create a world of little readers, bright-eyed at the prospect of a new book.

To register your child in a My Chapter One program, please get in touch at +91 78714 75555 or email us at info@mychapterone.com

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