When my daughter was one year old, she started recognizing the alphabets. At night, my husband used to read bedtime stories for our kids. He has always been fond of the Indian Mythological stories and used to tell those stories to them. This ignited this flame in my daughter to start reading on her own.
At that time, I had a habit of taking an afternoon nap. My daughter took that opportunity to read stories from ‘Champak’ to me so that I didn’t have to make any extra effort into helping her read. But the real fire in her was ignited when my husband who was away on a work trip came back with the first installment of the Harry Potter series. She used to spend all her time reading that book. When children are that young, they follow what they like and it is very important for parents to spot these ‘obsessions‘ that their children develop and help them nurture their talents from a very young age.
Those days, there used to be another kids magazine, ‘Nandan’. My daughter used to devour it, it was the most advanced text she had ever been given the chance to read. One day, she said that she had solved a crossword puzzle and wanted to send in her solution to the magazine. Not thinking much of it, we obliged. I still remember the day she got a reply from the magazine saying that she had solved the puzzle correctly and had earned a reward of 100 Rs for doing so. It was such a wonderful day for all of us, the first of so many to come.
The next challenge we faced was transitioning her reading habits from Hindi to English. My daughter was a book reading machine by then, always hungry for more. We had a much more difficult challenge ahead of us, arranging the novels and magazines was hard at that time, considering that we lived in a remote area. Whenever we used to go out, we were always on the lookout for bookstores to feed the book hungry monster back home. To this day, she is the happiest when she is reading. Reading, not studying ;).
As for my son, he used to try to copy everything that his sister did. If she is reading a novel, he wanted to read it too. If she is playing in the garden, he wanted to play with her too. But of course, when she was studying, he ignored this habit and kept playing. He too became an avid reader, but he picked up this habit much later, something that I will talk about in a future post.
I have always looked on the brighter side of any situation. When other’s were busy gossiping, I was planning for the future of my children. It is always easy to make excuses and shrug responsibilities, but I took it as a challenge. I could also have shifted to Delhi for my kids’ education, but I didn’t want to separate my children from their father. Where there is a will, there is a way.
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