I was recently at an event where I met a dynamic duo who were not just partners in business, but at raising an intellectual little girl too. Their only woe - too busy to read to their child. Today, for most of the parents working long hours, their children’s formative years pass in a blur. Sadly, children in such families spend less time learning and reading. I believe reading with your child every day - be it only for 15 minutes - is a relationship builder by itself. The challenge for busy parents is to carve out time for this essential relationship building opportunity.

We give time to what we think is important. When busy parents act distant and choose work over reading, it is a simple representation of how much importance they are giving to reading. It is about time that parents start realising that reading is not just a “good habit” but a necessary skill to have. Since reading for pleasure is the single biggest factor in success, the importance of reading cannot be emphasised enough and parents need to make reading a priority.

Reading should not just be an activity left for the free time, it should be a family ritual.

Here are some ways busy parents can take out time to spend quality reading time with their children:

Stories before bedtime
Make bedtime stories a cosy ritual before putting your young one to sleep, but read at the same time every day. An amazing story fuels your child’s imagination before sleep. Share your childhood favourites with your child to get them excited about reading.

A little at a time
Read a short story or a novel over a course of a few days. Set assignments for your child to read a few pages of the book every day. Alternate between you reading an excerpt aloud and letting your child read another, to break the monotony.

Books for the long haul
Carry a book in your bag at all times just like you might carry a snack. Encourage them to read whenever they get any free time such as waiting at the doctor’s chamber, when you are driving the car, on a bus ride, while travelling and even when waiting for dinner!  

Big reading experience in small packages
It takes only 10 minutes every day to build a habit. Start with reading kid friendly news to them every morning. The Freadom app has a unique section dedicated to child friendly news with riveting quizzes that will compel the child to come back to the app everyday. The app is also loaded with stories and reading activities that you can enjoy with your child on the go.

As Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Your children are watching everything you do and they follow you on your every move. When parents demonstrate a good reading habit around their children, they will get inspired to pick up the knack for reading themselves. When you spend 30 minutes reading a book, your child will soon follow!

This article was originally published on Co-founder Kavish's LinkedIn.