7 Things You Can Relate To If You Are Raising A Reader

Okay, first off, you are really lucky if you have a little budding reader at home! Take a bow; you are one of those rare parents who have succeeded in inculcating a love for reading in your little one; giving him a gift for life! You are also one of those exceptional parents, who not only appreciate the beauty and the significance of words, but are benevolent enough to let your little ones appreciate the magnificence of the world of words too!

And this benevolence on your part entitles you to the front row seat to some of the rarest (and sometimes the quirkiest) child behaviour! Yes, as a parent intent on raising a reader, you belong to that special group extraordinary parents who get to witness the some really peculiar behaviour in your little ones! Wondering what I am talking about? Well, see for yourself –

Yours is probably the only child on the block who asks for lemonade, marshmallows and midnight snacks!
If you happen to meet my mom (try not to, for your own sake, but if you do, then) well, she will have this amazing story to tell you about how I would ask her for lemonade any time of the day or the night! She will tell you how much I loved to sip on the drink as I read about the protagonist of whatever book I was reading at that time, who would also, incidentally, be drinking lemonade! And if you meet me, well, I will also tell you the story about how now my little prefers hot cocoa to his usual Bournvita and calls neembu sharbat as lemonade! And am sure, if you have a little one at home who has been introduced to the world of children’s stories, especially those of Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl or such all-time children’s favourites, then this is something even you can perfectly relate to!  

Your children will probably fancy themselves to be detectives/wizards/entrepreneurs/ secret agents/ princesses/descendants of Greek demi-Gods and what not, based on what they are reading right now! 
I loved Nancy Drew as a child; and with my best friends Bess and George (names changed); was always on the look-out for the next mystery to solve! I think I might also have fancied a boyfriend named Ned, but that’s beside the point. I also subsequently loved Agatha Christie and Jeffrey Archer and John Grisham and find myself always wondering whether things are really the way they are or is there something else lurking deeper….Well, now as a mom, I find my little one fancying himself as Will Solvit one day and George (from George’s Marvelous Medicine) the other! The thing is; if you have a budding little book-lover in your home, you will no doubt find him/her play-acting and pretending to be whatever it is that has caught his/her fancy at that particular time!

Your children will pester you about “typically non-Indian” concepts like earning money for chores and prom dates! 
Believe me, this is true! I mean, I adored Nancy Drew as a child, but even at that young age, I knew I would never drive a car by myself or have a boyfriend named Ned at such a tender age! But today’s kids are very different. I got Lunch Money (by Andrew Clements) for my little one the other day; and he wanted to know how he can himself earn money for his allowance – especially since he cannot clean people’s yards, or babysit or even sell some handmade comics or trinkets for money in our country!  

Your children will never hear you when you call them, if they are engrossed in reading!
This is a bit vexing; but hey, most children don’t hear us parents when we call them, anyway; so what have we got to lose? You see, many times, I find my little one with his book on the rocking chair and even if I call him from the same room, he doesn’t even hear me! But I cant complain, as I too have been scolded in my childhood for being lost to the world around me when I was busy reading… Plus, look at the bright side here, your child is concentrating so hard that he/she is completely engrossed in whatever it is that he/she is reading – that if you ask me is a great ability in itself – to let oneself be immersed in the task at hand!

Your children will randomly quote from books and stories that you may or may not have read yourself!
Ah, this happens so many times in our home that my husband sometimes really feels left out! (Poor thing…) You see, I have done this with my brother a lot. Many people quote movie dialogues and give movie references – remember going to the mattresses from the Godfather? – Well, me and my brother; we were all for random quotes from the books we read! And today I find it absolutely adorable when I see my little one doing the same! Sometimes, I find it all the more endearing when I know what book he is quoting from, but even if I don’t, I get the whole “book-reference thing!”

Your children will be more sensitive, empathetic and a bit more mature and understanding than their peers!
It’s not like the only fallout of raising a reader is merely having to deal with these quirks all the time. No. There are some great advantages of inculcating the love of books in your young ones too! One of the major ones, for example, is that reading makes one more sensitive towards others. It also increases one’s power of imagination and brings out more empathy and makes one more mature. How does that happen? Well, when you read, you imagine someone else in a hypothetical situation; thereby engaging the brain in emotional and moral questioning. It makes one a better listener and brings out a greater understanding in the person. Now tell me, is that an amazing thing or what!

Your children will have an advanced vocabulary and an increased flow of knowledge compared to their peers!
I know what you are thinking; this is a no-brainer! Well, I tend to agree with you. You know, reading introduces us to so many new words and phrases. It makes one’s grammar more solid and one’s language more polished. Reading also lets one know about so many things! You get to read about far off places, extraordinary experiences, and different perceptions of historical or political events and so on. And this helps in increasing one’s knowledge base manifold.  When you compare children who read with their peers who do not, the difference is evident in the way the budding readers speak and understand things and the language they use. Now, who wouldn’t want to beam with pride at that!

Well, maybe your budding reader may not hear you call out his name, or have these quirks (or others) as mentioned above; but the fact is, by falling in love with the world of books at a tender age, your child has achieved one very important thing – your children will never feel alone in the world, ever – because now they have, in books, a friend for life! 


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