Encourage children to read, parents told

National 2 minutes, 29 seconds


PARENTS were urged to engage their children in early reading to ensure their future academic achievement and literacy success at the motivational talk entitled “Menanam minat membaca kanak-kanak” held yesterday.

The Director of the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP), Hjh Aminah Hj Momin, said parental involvement has a lasting impact on their child’s reading skill and academics.

“Parents are their children’s first teachers. What parents do or don’t do has a lasting impact on their child’s reading and academic development,” said Hjh Aminah Hj Momin.

The DBP director went on to say that early exposure to reading not only stimulates a child’s mind and promote their academic development but it also enhance their creativity and intelligence.

“Children who read are found to be more creative, innovative and have a stronger memory. This is because reading develops the children’s brain cells therefore they become knowledgeable while strengthening their memory,” explained the director.

Delivering the motivational talk yesterday was invited motivational speaker from Aiko and Taro Playhouse, Yong Jiunn Chau.

In a brief interview with The Brunei Times, Yong said that we live in an era where tablets have become increasingly popular amongst children as young as one year old.

He said gadgets are much cheaper now and kids are easily intrigued by them rather than engaging in reading.

“A few generations ago, we didn’t have much gadgets and Internet access was rare; even if there was, it would have cost us thousands. Now you can get a good tablet with less than $200. The shelves are full of books, but the children are not looking at books,” said Yong.

Yong went on to say that it is vital for parents to incorporate reading into the child’s daily routine and to cultivate the reading habit without making them feeling forced.

“Parents must encourage their children in such a way that they enjoy because if you make it seem like it’s something they must do instead of a hobby, they will end up losing interest,” said the motivational speaker.

According to Norami Izzatul Shimah, a participant who attended the motivational talk said early intervention is very important when it comes to reading, noting that both her six and two-year-old daughters are actively involved in reading ever since a very young age.

She added that singing lullabies, or reading aloud to her kids help sstimulate their children’s developing minds and help build a base for literacy skills.

“I try to switch it up to make it more interesting and as fun as possible. I find them to engage more in counting, number concepts, letter names and shapes and associating sounds with letters,” Norami Izzatul explained.

“It’s better to start reading early, in fact the earlier the better. Ever since they were toddlers, I’ve always made it a habit for them to learn to read,” she added.

More than 50 participants along with their children attended the talk.

The Brunei Times