Cultivating a Love for Reading in Our Children

Olive-Sharables1Reading to children is an enjoyable experience for both children and parents, not only that there are so many benefits of reading for both children and adults.

As parents we have the responsibility to impart knowledge to the growing minds of our children. Our children have incredible potential to learn and it is in the formative years that they develop their habits. What a beautiful habit to give to our children, the vehicle to knowledge. No matter what subject it is, in order for our children to excel in it they must enjoy reading first.

It is so important that we pass on the wonderful legacy of learning to our children, and one of the best ways to accomplish that is to read to them. By reading to them, we not only teach them that learning is fun, we show them by our own example too.

The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلمsaid: “Only two persons deserve to be envied, firstly, a person to whom Allaah has given wealth and bestowed upon him guidance to spend in a righteous cause, and secondly, a person upon whom Allaah has bestowed wisdom by which he judges and which he teaches.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

With reading come the benefit and the gift of knowledge, more precious to our children than anything else we can ever buy for them or give them. In order for our children to go on to study the blessed Quran, Hadith and other Islamic texts it is crucial that they are used to reading and enjoy it.

portrayal-89193Our children’s likes and dislikes are often a result our own practices. If books are a central part of loving parents interaction with their children  from an early age, they will associate the presence of books with the positive feelings of being held and loved. These associations are encoded in a profound way in a child’s developing brain and as they grow older they will have just as much enthusiasm and zeal for reading and learning as their parents had.

Let’s look at a few ways in which we can cultivate the love of reading and learning in our children:

  1. Parent and child bonding – Reading provides parents with one to one time with their children, a chance to unwind and respite away from the daily practicalities of life.
  1. Reading can be an excellent tool to teach children moral values, lessons and also Islamic practices, for example Ramadan, Hajj, Eid. Books can also facilitate any kind of change in a child’s life, for example the first day at school. Children can relate to characters in a book, stories help children understand things in a simple child friendly way.
  1. Making reading fun – Reading can be made fun by parents by using different voices or facial expressions when reading the statement of different characters in a story. Adding humour is a good way to inculcate love for reading in children, remember reading should be light, fun and a happy time. Never force your child if they loose interest or if they have short attention span.

What we leave our children with today will be something that will benefit the generations to come Insha’Allah.

Abu Hurayra  narrated a meaningful Hadeeth in which the Messenger of Allaah صلیاللہ علیہ وسلم said: “When a man dies, all his acts come to an end but three; recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased).” [Muslim]

May we be able to sow the seed of learning for our children and Insha’Allah may they flourish in to those whose thirst for knowledge is never quenched.