Yes. أنا عايزة أتعلم منك: How do I make my kids read? Because, she said, her seven-year-old doesn’t like to read. She’d sent him to a special summer camp to improve his love of reading.
I asked: بالعربي أو بالإنجليزي؟
Either one, she said.
Hm, I said. I didn’t really have any advice that I knew of. How do you get a child to read? My children just love to read; I never really thought I’d put effort into that part of it. إحنا كلنا بنحب الكتب.
Oh, she said. Well, she doesn’t love books. She never reads. She associates reading with study, and doesn’t ever do it for fun. Besides, she hasn’t the time, and so on, and so forth.
Oh, I said.
I guess I do know a secret. You can’t magically make your children pick up litter or brush their teeth or read books if you don’t believe in it, and enjoy it, and do it yourself.
How do you get your child to read? Find books you enjoy. Take time to read. Love reading. (If you need help with this, you can visit my grown-up blog, ArabLit.)
Current kid favorites: My three-year-old wants to read the آدم و أصدقاء books (and do the cards) every morning.