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How You Can Help Your Child to Read - Even If You Hate Reading Books Yourself

Just because you might not enjoy classic literature or works of contemporary fiction doesn't mean that you aren't qualified to help your child improve her literacy skills.

Nor should you feel unworthy if the only real reading you do each day is flipping through the pages of the daily newspaper or a sports magazine.

Some of us, particularly if we spend our working lives reading documents and papers, would rather relax with more pleasurable reading material like magazines and articles. The thought of slogging through a Booker Prize winning work after a long day in the office really doesn't appeal.

Similarly, when you read with your child you don't necessarily need to be reading 'prescribed' books either. If the thought of reading the same old picture book for the hundredth time fills you with dread, why not read a comic book or cartoon strip with your little one instead?

If you have a hobby or interest (or did have before you had children!) reading books, magazines or articles about it with your child could be a way to get him or her interested in it too. Plus it's far more likely that you will be enthusiastic about the reading session.

Other good material could include theatre programs - especially if it is a show your child has seen and enjoyed; sporting programs, which are usually full of photos and colour; and car magazines, where you can show your child different cars and discuss their size, colour and shape. Be careful not to get too involved in the detail with these though!

To be honest, the content is not what's important. It's more the fact that you are involving your child in the communication process, and that they are becoming attuned to the association of the written word, the spoken word, and pictures.

Reading what you both enjoy will make the whole process far more pleasurable and, as a result, more successful.

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