Print motivation, defined as a child’s interest in and enjoyment of books and reading, is an important literacy skill for children to develop in order to become successful readers. That’s right; something as simple as making reading enjoyable can have a huge impact on your child’s reading success.
One way to foster your child’s print motivation is to make sure that when you read together, both you and your child are in the right frame of mind—alert, not too tired, not too active. Reading often is certainly essential, but when reading to your youngster, quality is much more important than quantity. It’s normal to want to make sure to read for those recommended twenty minutes each day, but if your child is resistant, it’s better to not force it. Instead, read for shorter amounts of time throughout the day—even thirty seconds is okay, if that’s what your child’s mood/behavior dictates. Research has shown that if the interaction around books is negative, with impatient words and negative feelings, then the child will associate reading with a negative feeling. This could have long-term effects on your child’s reading success. So, the more you and your child share books and talk, the better, but just make sure that you’re doing it when it can be a positive experience for everyone.