Whether your child is sitting down with a book or mobile device, it’s important for them to learn and maintain good posture while reading.
Good reading posture means being aware of holding yourself in a way that puts the least strain on your back and neck while sitting for long periods of time. And while many of us enjoy curling up on the couch with a good book for hours, it’s helpful to encourage children to be aware of good reading posture, especially over long periods of time.
So what can you do to teach your child about good reading posture? Consider these helpful tips:
Be aware of what good reading posture looks like. The back should be resting against the backrest of the chair, knees making a right angle, feet flat on the floor, and legs uncrossed. Books should be placed or held at eye level to avoid neck strain.
Be aware of your own reading posture. Children learn by example, so make sure you exhibit good reading posture yourself. If you have a desk job, be especially conscious of how you sit over long periods of time.
Use positive reinforcement. Praise your child when you see them sitting up straight to help them stay motivated and aware of their posture. If you see your child slouching to read or curling up on the couch for long periods of time, gently remind them to readjust their reading position.
Make sure you have the right furniture. Your child’s furniture could be affecting their posture. Make sure their desk is at elbow height where they can sit upright with relaxed hands. If they are reading on a computer, teach them how to adjust the monitor to be at eye level.
Use a therapy ball. If you have a therapy ball that your child can sit on with their feet on the ground, this can help strengthen their core and encourage them to sit up straight. Make sure they have an appropriately heighted surface to read on, and remember to supervise younger children to ensure they are using the ball safely.
Shoulder blade squeeze. Before sitting down to read, ask your child to stand with their arms straight out from their shoulders. Then have them bend their elbows so their hands are shoulder height, palms down. Have them squeeze their shoulder blades together and hold for five seconds. Relax and repeat five times.
Encourage regular stretches. Remind your child to take regular 30 minute breaks to get up and stretch while reading, especially over long periods of time.
Don’t forget the eyes. Teach your child to hold their book close enough so that they don’t have to strain their vision, and always remember to provide good lighting. If you suspect your child may have poor vision, speak to a professional about arranging an eye test.
Do you have any other ideas, tips or tricks for teaching your child good posture for reading? Let us know if the comments section below.