Monday, September 12, 2011

365 Days of Reading: Tip #15 - Make Dad a Reader!

How do you model good reading behaviors if Dad isn't so interested in reading?

The truth is, he probably does read and he might even enjoy the time he spends reading. It just might be a different KIND of reading than what most women do.

Men tend to read for a purpose. They tend to choose nonfiction over fiction (as do their sons - see Tip #12). And of course, they love their gadgets.

So here are my best tips for getting Dad to model his reading skills for your child:

1. Subscribe to your local newspaper or a widely available and well-respected publication like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, depending on his interests. Get it at least twice a week; most big newspapers have deals that allow you to subscribe to just the weekend editions. A lot of men enjoy reading the newspaper, but they also enjoy the ritual of it, too, so this is why you want the actual paper and not just an electronic version. Kids often enjoy completing the puzzle pages with Mom & Dad.

2. However, electronic print has its place, too! He needs an e-reader like the Kindle or at the very least a smartphone (he can get the Kindle app for free). Then, add a few children's books to the e-reader in addition to the books that Dad is reading on there. This will make it a fun shared activity for them both. (For kids, e-reading can't replace real books, so just keep it in perspective and view it as a way for your child to understand that Daddy is indeed reading when he picks up his smartphone or Kindle.)

3. Give books as gifts. I mean, for every holiday - birthdays, holy days, anniversaries, you name it. Find out more about his hobbies and every time you give him a gift, get a book that goes along with it. Guys read for a purpose, so choose books that are informative or humorous on the topics he loves.

4. Place a book in the bathroom. Yes, I'm serious. Do it. How bad do you want him to read?! Just do it. If you really don't want your books in the bathroom, then subscribe to a news magazine like Time or guys' magazine like Men's Health, and place a new issue in there every month. Place the reading material in a stylish little basket and everything will still look nice & tidy.

P.S. The basket featured above is made of recycled newspapers! How cool is that?!

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