A bookworm at 4, this girl's ultimate goal will amaze you

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At an age when most kids have to be forcibly pulled away from their iPad or the televisions set, this child prodigy has already read more than a thousand books. How can you inculcate reading habit in your child early on? Keep reading...

When Daliyah Marie Arana was just an infant, she would hear her older brother reading out loud. By the time the tot was 18-months-old, she was already recognising words from the books her mother read out to her, according to this report.

“She wanted to take over and do the reading on her own,” Haleema Arana, Daliyah’s mum, said in an interview with The Washington Post.  That’s how the reading bug bit her. There was just no looking back for the chid prodigy. The more words she learned, the hungrier she was for more. According to this report, at the tender age of two, Daliyah had read her first book. She is already quite a phenomenon in her hometown, Gainesville, Georgia.

The pint-sized reader has already managed to read certain college-level texts and she is just four. Obviously, she loves visiting libraries and already has her own library card. “I like to check out books every day… I want to teach other kids to read at an early age, too,” says Daliyah, according to this report. And what does she want to be when she grows up? Considering she has a special interest in dinosaurs, it comes as no surprise that she wants to be a palaeontologist. Yes, you read that right.

While all children may not have Dahlia's aptitude for the written word, it's something that needs to be nurtured in every child. Reading books opens up a world that cannot by aped by television shows or latest gadgets. There is no doubt about the myriad benefits of reading for children and adults alike. But then how do we develop and nurture this habit in our young ones? Read on for some effective tips:

  • Practice what you preach: Read at home, in their presence. Read out loud the topics you feel may interest your child. The more often he sees that his parents choose to read a book, as compared to indulge in social networking on their phone, the stronger their urge to follow your footsteps… down to the library!
  • Read with them, for them: Till you get the child to fall in love with the world of books, make sure, you read out to them. Make it a habit you’d rather not deviate from. Once it becomes a pattern, on an odd day that you don’t feel like reading it out to them, they may try to read on their own. And thus a new journey begins.
  • A nook for that book: It need not necessarily be a reading room. It could be a corner in your chid’s room or a comfy chair in the living room. Some spot with good lighting, comfort and a couple of books handy will do… as long as it’s your child’s very own reading space.
  • Frequent that library: Even better would be to make him a member of one. Children love the idea of having a library card of their own. It makes them feel all grown-up (and why would they want to grow up? I’m as clueless.). Take them with you, each time you visit your library. Let him see how you browse through various sections, read bits and pieces and finally decide on a  few. Make him participate in the process and before soon, he will have a set of books ready to be taken home.
  • Reread his favourites: My daughter just loves Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. So, till she started reading on her own, I had to read it out to her… innumerable times. A time came when she’d finish my sentences. But there was no stopping her. Children have their favourites and they love revisiting them. Indulge them. We may get bored. They don’t.

Basically, the trick is to make reading enjoyable for them. Don't force your favourites on him. Indulge him with his favourites and you will have a child craving for longer reading time. Isn't that the better options as compared to a longer TV-time?

Also Read: This is how a mother's voice affects the development of a baby's brain!

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