One of the best things you can do for your child is to instill in them a love of reading. If you can teach your child to enjoy reading, you can guide their morals and their education very easily. Their IQ will increase, and they will be able to feel comfortable in many situations, because they have learned from the good books you pick for them how to react in various settings.
To teach your child to love reading, they first have to see that YOU love reading. Let them see you read often. Let them see that you would rather read the book than watch the movie. If you can train yourself this way, you are well on your way to giving your children a great advantage.
Read outloud to them from the time they are very young. Sit them in your lap, cuddled under a warm blanket and read happily. Have cozy pillows on your couch or rocking chair to make a nest. Make reading time a time to look forward too.
Buy good quality books. So many times, the books they have for children are of low quality. Read books with good morals and a good work ethic. Make sure that the families love each other, and the children are taught to get along with each other. As much as possible, have the books teach children how to handle life’s ins and outs.
Read books to the children that are good enough that you enjoy them too. The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder are always a hit. By the entire collection, and read them through from the first one to the last. The Little Britches books by Ralph Moody are good especially for boys, but girls enjoy them, too. You can still find the Bobbsey Twins and the Five Little Peppers on ebay and sometimes in the nostalgic section of Half Price Books. You can hardly go wrong with the classics. Read Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Pollyanna, Where the Red Fern Grows, Charlotte’s Web, Heidi, Old Yellar and all those old books that were so good they made movies out of them a long time ago. As your children grow older, continue to find classic books they will enjoy. The Anne of the Green Gables series, The Yearling, The Elsie Dinsmore series are wonderful books. The Old Man and the Sea, a Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Gulliver’s Travels are more good ones. In fact, a good rule is that books written before the 1960’s will be pure enough to let your children read.
Have a long reading time before bed. It will settle the children down and draw you all closer. Gather everyone on the biggest bed in the house, and read. Make time for it, don’t be in a hurry. Some of my favorite memories of my older children are when we laid in bed at night and read for hours. If you find the right book, all ages will enjoy it.
Remember that your children will eventually become what they put in their minds. It is very, very important that you give them good, character building books to read. Try to read them first yourself, or at least skim them. Put good, moral things into your child’s minds. Things that will grow their character rather than just feed and dull their senses. Give them real, living books to help them form their way of thinking. Remember, you are growing the next generation of adults, and training an eternal soul. As the Bible tells us, train them in the way they should go!