Frequently we encourage children to read and tell them that it is very important that they learn how to do so. Have you ever wondered why reading is an essential skill to have in our life? Reading is fundamental since it helps us to function better in society. In our daily life, we are faced with situations which require us to read for example; filling in an application form, reading the content of a label and reading signs. If you are unable to read, you will need to depend on other people on several occasions and this can create feelings of frustration.

Reading is a skill which is heavily sought after in the world of work. To some extent, many jobs require employees to be able to read. Poor reading and writing skills are likely to increase the amount of time required to complete a task. Thus, being able to read makes a person more employable. Reading also helps to develop the mind. The mind is a muscle and it needs to exercise. Language skills are improved through reading as do listening skills. Reading helps us to discover new things. When you are interested in a topic you can look up more information to acquire new knowledge. This can be achieved by reading books, magazines and even online.

Children may not feel enthusiastic to read and encouraging them to read can easily become a struggle and source of fighting between parents and children. The following are some suggestions which can you help you accomplish this task.

Paired reading is a very good way for parents to help with their children’s reading. Ask the child to choose something to read which is of their liking. It is important that they read about something they are interested in as otherwise they will lack the motivation to start and finish the task. You may have some books already at home but you might consider starting to take trips to the library. A library will have plenty of choices and therefore your child will not be bored of reading the same books. Choosing the time and place where reading will be carried out are also important factors which need to be considered. Try to find a place that is quiet and comfortable. There should not be too many things going on as this will distract the child from focusing on reading. Whilst reading, get close to your child. Remember, you both need to be able to see the book. Reading can also be a time where you can snuggle with your child and this will help you increase your bond.

Whilst reading, show interest in the book your child has chosen. Ask questions about what is going on in the story. It is best if you discuss at the end of a page or section, or your child might lose track of the story. You can ask what your child thinks might happen next. Doing this will also help you to check whether the child is understanding the story.

If the child feels confident to read on their own encourage them to do so. When they struggle to read a word or get it wrong, read the word out loud right for your child and make sure your child says it right as well. When your child reads well praise them and do not make a fuss about the words your child gets wrong.

Happy reading ☺


Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on or call us on 79291817.