Books- the best gift I gave my son

By Diyaa in Experiences
Updated 10:45 IST Apr 15, 2019

It was my son’s seventh birthday. He was as usual super excited about getting a year older and having to celebrate his special day. The thing that actually elevates his joy is that of receiving gifts on that day. He was so confused about the list he made that he couldn’t select what he finally wanted. Ultimately he asked me for a pack of books by his favorite author. The mother in me was so pleased with his choices.

There were only twenty days left to his birthday when I thought of this, why not write him a book instead of buying him one. I gathered my thoughts and put them into a story appropriate for his age. With the help of my best friend, from the US, who is amazing at making illustrations; I managed to finish the book in just ten days time, writing, drawing, and printing. In fact, we gave it a return gift to all his friends in class; wherein each one had his or her name in the story too as the second lead to the birthday boy.

The creative writer in me was thrilled to have done this, but what made me happier was to see the surprised look on my son's face when he read his name in it along with other friends! That was the most cherished memories I have from his birthdays.

He loves that book even today, three years after it being published. Most of us have read that one book in our lifetime, that has changed our lives for good or the least made a strong impact on us. I am sure this was the one that did it for my son. I still remember his first book about transport. He loved it so much that he would take it everywhere with him. I then realized I should be adding more to his collection and that is how it all began.

Today I feel so contented when I see him read for hours long. At times he comes across as a loner to a lot of people since he’s glued to his books all day and rarely makes a conversation but I know that he’s in a much safer place there. Yes, it wasn’t easy for me to build this habit for him when he was little; it did take a lot of efforts but all worth it at the end.

Books can take you to a world of your own, a place where no one else intrude your privacy. It allows you to dream, to wish, to hope for all that you can ever imagine. It takes you to a million places even when you are physically centered at one. Books can increase your imagination and exercise your brains. It makes you think and increases your concentration.

Books teach your child about relationships, situations, personalities, and what is good and what is bad in the world they live in. Fantasy books provide material for their imagination and creation.  Fairy tales and comics fascinate your child, and help him distinguish between what is real and what is not. When they are in their growing stages it’s easier to get them books and make them aware of things they otherwise would be hesitant to talk about. It can ease out their anxieties and help them deal with their age-related pressures. It enriches their vocabulary and sentence making too.

The best advantage of reading in today’s time is, it’s lessened our screen time a lot. Yes, it’s addicting to watch than to read and it takes a habit to really resist something so tempting. The minute I ask my son to shut his TV or I pad, he picks up a book to read.

Let me share with you some tips on how I made him enjoy reading so much. I read to him every night before sleeping. The session always started with his choices of stories. I would give him a few options to choose from. Once he would pick, I would ask him of what he thought the story could be about and after reading I would ask for his views on how he found the story to be. I would always exaggerate on the sounds and the words while reading to get his attention and focus on the tale. Initially, it started with a lot of attractive colorful pictures in the book which slowly turned into more words. Always start with a topic or a book that interests your children. It will be easier to get their attention.

My son reads everything from comics to novels now and sometimes he finishes his books in a day’s time too. Get them engrossed and see them read, well mine reads on the escalator, in the elevator, in the bathroom, in the car or the school bus, in between breaks, and endlessly the list goes on.

His teacher once mentioned to me that my son is fast in completing his school work which took me by surprise as that’s not what I see at home with him. But later they told me how it gives him extra time to read his books in the book corner. I didn’t know how to react to it, it gave me a strange feeling but deep inside I was smiling away at my child’s fine habits. As they rightly say, children are made readers on their parent's lap!

 

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