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Your child is going to start primary one soon, and he/she doesn’t show any or little interest in reading. Even some of our local schools have launched a reading programme. But how can we make our child loves reading? Sometimes moms and dads have to get sneaky, but you can still turn your child into a reader, even if he/she is reluctant about it.

1. The Early Bedtime trick.
One of my favorite ways to get my kids to read is something I hope that they will not figure out until they have kids of their own. Two words Early Bedtime.

You might be wondering how an increase in sleep can help your child to spend more time reading. Well, here’s the trick. Set their bedtime for 45 minutes to an hour before they need their lights out.

Here’s how our bedtime routine goes. At 730pm, the kids brush teeth and use the bathroom. Then I read them their stories. This is all done before their official bedtime. Then, I simply give them an option. I say It’s time for bed, now. Would you like lights out or would you like to stay up and read for a bit?

Unless they are really tired, they’ll always choose to read awhile. I do not have to beg nor manipulate them into reading. In fact, they think it’s their idea and they have grown to love their chance for a ‘late’ bedtime. Then, I back off. I don’t try to instruct them in any way, nor help them choose books. This is their time. They can choose whichever book they like and look at it however they like until I come in to kiss them goodnight and turn their lights out. Of course, if they want me to stay and listen to them read, I’m more than happy to comply. Try it. It works.

2. Reading activities. 
You can use a Monopoly board and allow your child to move one space for each book he/she reads. Or if you want to have more fun, let him/her roll the dice each time he reads a book and have prizes available for passing certain points.

Make sure the rewards are something very desirable. If your child values time with you more than toys, then set a date together doing his/her favorite thing. If he/she values a certain toy, let him/her earn it. Or let him/her earn a chance to get out of his/her regular chores. Take him/her to his/her favorite restaurant. Just have fun with it and he/she will, too.

3. Read the book before you can see the movie
If you bring your child to a movie, tell him/her a new rule. We won’t go see any movie until we’ve read the book. Whether the parents read the book to the kids or they read it alone, each member of the family can go see the movie after the book is read. So, if your child is looking forward to seeing the next Superman movie, the next Harry Potter movie or the next Wonder Woman movie, they’ll have to read the book first.

4. Bring them to the Library.
To nurture a love for reading and lifelong learning in children, NLB has continued to expand our available range of programmes and services. They have workshops for parents of children up to 6 years old to discover ways to cultivate and foster the love for reading in a child; create a supportive reading environment for a child through meaningful activities and play and understand how the parent-child bond can be strengthened through reading together.

Please view GoLibrary website for the full schedule of programmes at the libraries.

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