Newspaper Reading Habit: Introduction
The impact and importance of education isn’t just learning reading, writing and arithmetic at school. Instead, formal education is about gaining the knowledge and the skills needed to become a better person and create a better society to live in. It can broaden a child’s horizons, helping him to understand more about cultures and corners of the world beyond the school door. Even so, a good education has a positive domino effect on a person’s life and outlook making him an aware and informed citizen.
For being ‘informed and aware’, there are many digital and non digital mediums available but the Newspapers have stood the test of time since they were first published in the year 1605. They still dominate the information world and as a society, we have continued reading them even though we get most of the news on our smartphones. There is much more to the traditional practice of reading a newspaper that holds immense value in shaping young minds and nurturing essential life skills. Parents should introduce the newspaper reading habit to their children for the following compelling reasons:
Authentic source of information
Newspapers are held to strict standards about what they report and the articles represent what is currently known and verified. Whatever comes in the newspaper is under the vigilant eyes of the masses and the authorities, published with a high level of responsibility.
The newspaperspublish articles on diverse subjects ranging from science and technology, art and culture to articles by prominent authors, subject matter experts and statesmen. Regular reading exposes children to varied topics, broadening their knowledge base and stimulating curiosity.
General Knowledge and current affairs
Newspapers present updated information about weather conditions, local, national and international affairs. Children can stay well informed about their society, country and the world.
Regular reading of the newspaper enhances language skills in children. It exposes them to a variety of vocabulary and diverse writing styles along with making them comprehend the given information and acquainting them with correct grammatical and syntactical structures.
Objective and straightforward approach
The sober approach adopted by the newspapers with more words discussing major events makes it free from bias and opinion most of the time. It gives room and platform to form an opinion and thus children learn to weigh the given information and become independent in their thinking.
An insightful commentary presented on the current affairs in the newspapers encourages children to think critically, analyse the situations and form conclusions which is a major life skill in today’s times.
Empathy and Social Awareness
The societal issues and anecdotes highlighted in the newspapers introduces the children to reality along with developing empathy and compassion in them making them good human beings.
The best weapon we have in this time of fake news is media literacy’. With regular reading of newspapers, children develop skill to analyse and determine the authenticity and credibility of the given information on any mass media, thus promoting media literacy.
Source of entertainment
In addition to all the above-mentioned reasons, newspaper reading can also be fun as it can also help your child escape into a different world through novels, puzzles and comic strips.
How to inculcate Newspaper Reading Habit in your Child
It is not easy to make the present generation read newspapers as they are either engrossed in their gadgets or love reading fiction. Most of them find the matter-of-fact style of presentation in newspapers boring and exhausting to read. But, by adopting a few innovative ideas, you can make reading newspapers one of your child’s favourite activities and, once he/she gets into the habit, it will stay with him/her for a lifetime.
Subscribe a daily newspaper
It is said that to form a habit we should do a particular activity regularly for 21 days. To make your child habitual of reading the newspaper, the first step is to subscribe to a local or national newspaper.
Identify your Child’s Interest
Let your child read whatever he likes the most. If he/she is interested in reading sports news or Bollywood news or children’s section, encourage him/her to do so. This will help in maintaining regularity of the activity and keep track of the current news in that particular section.
Having a newspaper reading hour at home is a motivating activity for your child. The only thing to ensure is that every member in the family should be reading during that time because we can teach our children better by setting an example.
Newspaper reading games
Newspaper reading can be made a fun activity by playfully involving your child in it. You can engage him/her by playing vocabulary games. For example, the child may be asked to find synonyms or antonyms of a given word from a particular article or a page in the given time. Another way to capture your child’s attention is to indulge in discussions about a particular newspaper article of his/her interest.
Newspaper collages and scrapbooks
Encourage your child to make a collage on the topic of his/her interest. The child can also be taught to make a scrapbook putting together articles, pictures, comic strip series and anything that he/she likes. This will not only make him/her pick up the newspaper frequently but will also give him a hobby to pursue.
Contribution to the newspaper
Another effective way to make your child interested in reading a newspaper is to make him/her contribute articles, poems, drawings, or short stories to the sections that invite entries. Older children can be motivated to write letters to the editors on political, social and economic issues. They may also be made aware of several contests held by newspapers like photography, report writing, quizzes etc.
In the present age of technology, newspapers remain an invaluable resource that can benefit children in myriad ways. They not only improve their focus and concentration but also develop them intellectually and emotionally, thus making them well informed, socially aware and responsible individuals.
Why is newspaper reading important for children?
Explore the cognitive, educational, and socio-cultural benefits that newspaper reading habits bring to your child’s development.
At what age should I introduce the newspaper reading habit to my child?
Learn about the optimal age to start fostering a newspaper reading habit and how to tailor it to your child’s developmental stage.
How can I make newspaper reading engaging for my child?
Discover creative strategies and activities to make the newspaper reading habit an enjoyable and interactive experience for your child.
Are there specific newspapers or sections suitable for children?
Find recommendations on child-friendly newspapers and insights into selecting appropriate sections to cater to your child’s interests and comprehension level.