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  • Want To Raise A Reader? Make Sure Kids See Dad Reading Books, Says Expert

    They play a more crucial role in instilling a reading mindset in their kids.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Want To Raise A Reader? Make Sure Kids See Dad Reading Books, Says Expert
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  • Moms know that reading books to their child from birth offers benefits that can last well until their kids are older. This includes boosting their vocabulary and reading skills, fostering a better relationship with family, and reducing their risk of developing negative behaviors. But to raise a reader, an expert says dads play a more crucial role — dads need to show an active interest in reading books so that kids can do the same.

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    This is what Vanessa Bicomong, director of the Learning Library, an enrichment and tutorial center that specializes in reading and Filipino language skills, stressed on the fourth episode of SmartParenting.com.ph’s How Po titled “Become Your Child’s Best Teacher! How To Do Preschool At Home.”

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    During the free online webinar, she shared the story of a mom who came to their center wondering why her child, who was already in Grade 5, was not interested in books even if she had exerted all efforts to foster a love for reading. When Vanessa asked if the child’s dad reads, the mom could not help but burst into tears — the answer was “no.”

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    “If you have a son, it is actually very important that the father shows an interest in reading. Kahit ano pong effort ng mommies, ‘pag ‘yung daddies, hindi nag-effort para sa sons nila, it will be harder. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it is harder,” Vanessa shares.

    How dads can encourage their children to love books

    According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, fathers who spend time reading books to their kids not only experience an improvement in their parenting skills, but they also positively impact their child’s school readiness and behavior.

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    If you want your kids to fall in love with books, Vanessa shares the following tips that both moms and dads can follow.

    Model a love for reading.

    Even if you feel that you are not a reader, Vanessa encourages you to “fake it ‘til you make it.” Allot a portion of your day to reading books (or at least pretend that you are). If you see your child picking up a book, ask your children about it and show an interest in what they are doing.

    “Ang kasabihan ‘di po ba, [ang] ginagawa ng matanda, siya pong tinutularan ng bata. When you show that [books] are important to you, then they will give it the same importance,” Vanessa shares.

    Read with your child.

    When you read with your child, you are modeling positive reading behaviors, according to Vanessa. She also lists three things that your child must glean from reading books.

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    “One, nag-e-enjoy tayo. Two, nag-co-concentrate tayo. Three, tinatapos natin ‘yung binabasa natin, and afterward, you can use what you’re reading as a springboard for conversation and discussion,” she says.

    She reminds parents that it will be easier for kids to adapt the reading mindset if they see their moms and dads with the same passion for books. “If your children see you focusing on reading, giving it importance, and making it useful in daily life then they will do the same. Pero hindi po nila gagawin yan kung hindi nila nakikita sa inyo,” she says.

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    If you have questions on reading or if you’re struggling with teaching your kids at home, watch our webinar below and let our experts help you plan better and teach your children confidently!

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