Finding it hard to get your tech-savvy child to pick up a book?


Imagine life from the perspective of a child who, instead of being introduced to digital technology, has never known a world without it. 

This is exactly why instilling a love for books in our children is becoming that much harder than it was for previous generations. 

8 September is International Literacy Day, a reminder of this invaluable passion we as parents should nurture in the young ones. 

"Reading develops the mind, the imagination and language skills. Reading is key to discovering new things and it assists in mastering the essential skill of comprehension... developing creativity, self-confidence and independence," says Cindy Glass, a former teacher and co-founder of the Step Up Education Centres. 

How to ignite a passion for reading in your children

Here Cindy provides a few tips: 

1. Set the example

Children who resist and defy what we say are more likely to do what we do. You will achieve greater success in encouraging your children to read books if you read books. 

2. Take some time to get to know your child

Find out what he or she finds interesting and exciting. Then, help him seek out books that align with these interests. Your child is more likely to read and enjoy books that support his interests. 

3. Show a sincere interest in what your child is reading

Ask questions. What is your book about? What is the best part so far? Do you think I would enjoy reading this book?  

4. Bedtime stories

Remember the days when you looked forward to being read to? Read to younger children. Be enthusiastic. Have fun! 

5. Be patient

Every child is different. Children who struggle to read will benefit from audio books — they can follow along in the book while listening to the story.   

6. Visit a library together

Being surrounded by so many books sparks curiosity – few children can resist exploring what a library has to offer! 

7. Don’t force it

Avoid the temptation to force your child into reading books. This inevitably creates dissention and may build walls of resistance that will be difficult to change.

We cannot build our children up by breaking them down. It is far more effective to encourage your child to read by being a positive, enthusiastic, excited reading role-model. 

Read more:   

What has been your experience with getting your child to read? Share your opinions and comments with us by emailing to and we might publish your letters. 

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, and you'll receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.