Children's books can be expensive and an extravagant proposition to many. And with toys on demand, they could just be too much bother. But there are always cheaper options. A lot of secondhand bookshops give good bargains. Even hand-me-downs from distant cousins and friends would be welcome. At the toddler-stage, children are not as possessive about their books as they are about their toys. Therefore, you can buy cheap throwaways from roadside kiosks. Read them and discard; this also avoids cluttering in the house.
One of the best ways to make good readers out of your young ones is to join a local library. But instilling good library manners in them is of utmost importance. The best way to do this is to take the child to the library often.
Most libraries have a reading room where the kids will learn to read or look through the books quietly, so as not to disturb others.
Children will love the idea of choosing books for themselves. It will make them feel important and responsible like the grown-ups.
Small children can be devilish and destructive with their things. Many kids love tearing apart books to tatters. But soon they will learn that they can't treat the library books in the same manner. This way they will learn to respect books.
They will learn that unlike the books they own, library books are shared by other kids too, so they have to be kept in good condition.
If your child gets attached to certain storybooks, make him return those to borrow them again. He will learn to value them more.
Take your kids to the library with his friends. Exchange their books with each other so they can see for themselves how books are shared or traded through the system. They will understand the concept of sharing books better.
Provide sops or incentives to children to keep them from defacing the book.
Going to the library is also a great form of outing. You can make this a ritual by doubling it as an evening stroll or walking the pet. When the kids grow up a little and are more likely to get attached to their books, that is the time to buy books and to teach them to take care of them. This will go a long way in reinforcing the reading habit.
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- The Indiaparenting Team