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How to make kids fall in love with books: working life hacks

Olga PopovichLife
How to make kids fall in love with books: working life hacks. Source: stock.adobe.com

The other day, I went out of the office to the yard to buy coffee and saw something wonderful: a bunch of teenagers leaning over a book (not a smartphone!), flipping through it and discussing something! This picture, in my opinion, disproves the myth that modern children are not interested in books at all.

In fact, they are interested, but it would be nice if adults would spark this interest in them. Some time ago, at a book club in Kyiv, a neurolinguist spoke about the peculiarities of the impact on a person of perceiving information through video and print channels. The brain turns on completely different zones and neurosystems when consuming video content with the eyes (the same Youtube or TikTok), and when putting letters into words and words into sentences when reading books. Observations on this topic have shown that children for whom the process of reading is not hard work (they read a lot, which means they develop analytical and critical thinking, enrich their vocabulary, and raise their emotional intelligence) are much harder to manipulate than those who prefer video sources. In other words, active book readers are likely to become opinion leaders in the future, while video content consumers are more likely to turn into more controllable people. So, reading is not just fashionable, it is a necessity if parents want to see their children successful, creative and able to generate interesting ideas and lead.

I agree that it is not easy to get a modern child to read a book. Excessive persistence on the part of adults and the cult of reading create a negative motivation for this process rather than contribute to it. Recently, even the language of communication between people has changed: more verbs and fewer nouns, as well as very few adjectives that reflect a warm, emotionally charged atmosphere.

However, books, especially classical ones, are mostly composed of descriptive adjectives. It's really hard for children, native speakers of a new language, to perceive such content. Add to that the gap between the ideals and idols of parents and children (the latter seem to have none at all), and the cultural gap between generations will be huge. Children are losing interest in adults, and therefore do not expect anything interesting from the books they offer.

Still, it is absolutely possible to make children fall in love with books. What do you need to do to do this? First and foremost, let me paraphrase someone famous. "Not only do you have to teach one good manners, but you also have to demonstrate them by example." When children see their parents immersed in books instead of their phones, this is the best educational moment, the popularization of reading in the family. If adults also read to their children before bedtime, it will become a habit and the effect will be excellent. It's a shame that not all modern children have the experience of reading together with their parents, during which parents could instill love, curiosity and enthusiasm for book stories in them. Even if it is only 15-20 minutes of joint reading a day, it will be enough to make children enjoy reading on their own in the future.

Of course, the choice of books is also important, as well as the content and appearance of the book. Modern children are accustomed to audiovisual images - photos and video content - and this is the easiest way for them to receive information. But if you offer a cool book with a fascinating story and an unusual form of information presentation, it will be effective After analyzing the world's current trends, publishing houses prefer three topics for children's books: the development of emotional intelligence, ecology/environmental conservation, the process of growing up, and nonfiction books with an unusual and modern visual presentation. Children love books about emotional intelligence from the word "very"!

In fact, the market is quite saturated with publications designed to raise a child's intellectual level - with all kinds of reference books and textbooks - but books that talk about emotions and their shades have only recently gained popularity in our country. In fact, modern children have trouble recognizing their own emotions. If you ask your teenager, "How are you?", you will hear, "I'm fine". Thus, you can not understant their real emotions. It is important to discuss with your child what he or she is feeling and options for dealing with different emotions: his or her own and those of others, as well as how to recognize them. Reading together from an early age will help with this. It is a good idea to keep a children's emotion diary and write down, for example, everything the child did and felt during the day, and then discuss and analyze it together. Our publishing house has recently released such a book. In fact, it is bought not only for children aged over 5 but also for much older readers.

By the way, do you have a library, a bookcase, or at least a shelf with books at home? In the era of electronic gadgets, bookcases and shelves are turning into irrelevant retro items that don't fit into modern interiors. But if books don't have their own place at home, how do children learn that reading and books are special values? It's great when parents take their children to literary events and bookstores. When a child sees a living writer at a presentation and listens to his or her works, it improves the quality of life and brings literature and its creators closer to the child. The opportunity to choose books in stores is a separate joy and responsibility. If a son or daughter has chosen something with their own hands, they will definitely read it. It makes sense to buy books with a sequel, book series. If a child is delighted with the first book, he or she will certainly go for the next one.

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