A Man’s Mind: A Father’s Gift Of Reading

Richard J. Avdoian, MS, MSW, CSP

You may make a point of spending time with your child playing games, watching a video, helping with homework and various other recreational activities but what about reading to and with them?  The gift of reading and the desire to learn are pivotal to your child’s future success. Not only their academic and career pursuits but is the porthole to various journeys a person first experiences through books.


  • Let them see you read often. You are one of their primary role models.

As the father of a son it is even more important since boys are more inclined to read below grade average and professionals believe it is because reading is associated with girls and women.   Allow your child to witness you reading magazines, newspapers, books, journals even comics and share that you think reading is rewarding, relaxing and a lot of fun.  Also stress that reading is imperative throughout life for growth both personally and professionally, all careers require continual learning and keeping abreast of world events.

A Fathers Style
Fathers are known for enhancing the experience and the desire to read by using various character voices, altering volume, using gestures, facial expressions and sound effects when reading.

  • Take the lead and expose your child to the local library     

…Even as an infant. The earlier your child is exposed, the more likely the child will request future visits.  Find out the earliest age a child can get a library card and make it a special event when you accompany your child as they sign up.

My wife Nancy and I took our son Gregory to the library as an infant and he became familiar with the staff and the children’s area, and once he walked he would quickly go to this area and make himself at home.  The staff were so impressed they issued him his own library card.  The three of us celebrated this event and continued to visit the library regularly.  I can still remember Gregory’s excitement and his facial expression the day he first used his card.

Not again…Why toddlers want the same book read over and over again.

Children crave, seek out and enjoy the warmth and comfort of sitting on your lap or connected at the hip nestled at your side. This is an ideal opportunity for fathers to develop and strengthen bonds with their child.  It also creates memories.  They soon figure out the sequence of words, events and pictures.  As fathers will learn quickly when they try to skip a page or two.  The toddler will often boldly insist on turning back the pages.   

Toddlers quickly learn the sequence and attempt mouthing the words.  Both help to build confidence and self esteem and set the foundation to desire to learn to read and read often.

© Richard J. Avdoian, MS, MSW, CSP (2009)

Richard Avdoian is an employee development expert who works with businesses and associations committed to recruit, train and retain highly motivated productive employees. He has worked with clients in over forty different industries providing programs and consulting services in the area of personal achievement, teamwork, and customer service.

Richard Avdoian formed TeamWork By Design, a consulting firm in 1995 and he is a nationally recognized speaker who offers keynote speeches, workshops, and executive & business coaching.

In July, 2003 he received the designation of Certified Speaking Professional (C.S.P.) from the National Speakers Association and International Federation for Professional Speakers, the highest earned level of excellence attainable in the industry and a distinction representing the top 10 percent of all members of the profession.

In October, 2006 he was honored by Niagara County Community College and inducted into the Distinguished Alumni Gallery in recognition for his personal and professional accomplishments and community service.

Drawing on his 26 years in private practice as a psychotherapist, Richard founded the Illinois Men’s Institute and Voyager Experience to challenge and inspire individuals to achieve a healthier balance in life, enhance relationships and reach their full potential.

He received his A.A. degree in liberal arts from Niagara County Community College, B.A. degree in sociology & minority studies and master degree in counseling from Niagara University, New York. He also earned a master degree in social work from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

© Richard J. Avdoian, MS, MSW, CSP (2009)

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