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  15/11/2023

Developing a reading culture within families is crucial. Reading enhances knowledge, improves skills, and strengthens emotional bonds among family members. However, many parents currently don’t give enough attention to fostering a reading habit in their children.

Lê Quỳnh Mai, a single mother and a dancer in Hanoi, often practices in the early mornings and performs at night. Her son, a third grader, spends most of his time with his grandmother. Mai worries that her son is now showing signs of reading aversion, avoiding books whenever she suggests reading. “When my son was learning online during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I couldn’t perform, I bought him books. But he would cry every time I brought them out. He once admitted he finds books less interesting than watching TV or playing on the phone,” Mai shared. She regrets not having the time to instill a love of reading in her son earlier. As children grow, they become more independent and harder to influence.

Similarly, Hoàng Hữu Quốc and Nguyễn Thị Tâm, parents in Mỹ Đình 1, Hanoi, who work as restaurant quality supervisors, have little time to read with their children. “Our two kids, one in middle school and the other in fourth grade, are often left to study alone. The older one is busy with exams, so they rarely read together. Even when we’re home, we’re constantly interrupted by work calls,” Tâm said. They worry that their lack of early encouragement has led their children to avoid reading, especially the younger one who questions the need to read more at home.

Speaker Nguyễn Quốc Vương, author of over 70 books related to education and reading culture, notes a common issue: parents urge their children to read more but don’t set an example. Besides being busy with work, excessive smartphone use by parents also contributes to children’s lack of reading habits.

Speaker Lê Hoài Anh, author of books like ‘The Heart of a Mother’ and ’15 Minutes a Day to Love Your Child,’ asserts that “Books are wonderful friends that enhance spiritual life and nourish the soul. Parents need to spend just 15 minutes reading with their children each day. This time not only boosts knowledge but also strengthens the parent-child bond.” As a mother of two elementary school children, she advises families to start nurturing the habit of reading in children as early as possible. “Parents can take turns reading with children, and grandparents can help too. These sessions also help understand children’s psychology better,” she says.

Dr. Vũ Dương Thúy Ngà, former head of the Library Department at the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, suggests that parents should balance their children’s schedule, allocating 15-30 minutes daily for reading together. If possible, children should be given 1-2 hours for traditional or electronic books.

Dr. Ngà emphasizes, “If grandparents and parents enjoy reading and guide children effectively, their teachings become truly valuable and effective. When adults in the household read, children naturally follow without needing to be forced.”

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