Many times I hear dads lament that their children simply don't like to read. In my experience, this has a lot to do with their child's reading interests. It almost goes without saying that children will be less motivated to read books they are not interested in than books that connect to their personal interests. One way a dad might increase reading motivation is by making books available that connect to his child's interests in everyday life. For instance, if you have a son who loves to play football, it might be a good idea to provide opportunities for your son to read books about his favorite football players. This can be a great way to connect to this child's interests and make reading more enjoyable. In keeping with the school of thought, I have a daughter who enjoys watching Shimmer and Shine on TV. When we go to the library, I often encourage her to pick out books that involve the Shimmer and Shine characters. She is often overjoyed by the opportunity to read books that connect to her entertainment interests. Some other easy ways to increase reading motivation include:
1. Making reading a regular family event
2. Connecting reading to real life experiences in a child's life
3. Connecting reading to the Arts
4. Modeling reading for enjoyment
5. Gifting books for birthdays, holidays, and other special moments
6. Giving your child a regular book allowance and taking him or her to the bookstore once per month to go shopping for books
Feel free to leave a comment or question below. Remember that everything is better with books!
My name is Dr. Terry Husband and I am an Associate Professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Literacy at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. I am also a father of three beautiful daughters and passionate about reading. Research suggests that fathers play a very critical role in a child's literacy development. At the same time, many fathers are unsure how they might best support their child's literacy development outside of school. This blog is designed to encourage and support fathers as they read to and with their children on a regular basis outside of school. As you browse this blog, you will find articles, tools, and links to assist you in this journey. I hope you enjoy!