Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

4 Ways to Help Your Kid Face Their Fears and Be Brave

As children grow and develop, it’s normal for them to feel nervous or scared, especially in new situations. Even the bravest of us sometimes wish we had a bit more nerve. But bravery can be a tough thing to teach. That’s why the best thing you can do as a parent is to lead by example. Here are a few ways in which you can help your child face their fears:

Read stories featuring brave characters.

One of the many benefits of reading with your child is that books help them to identify and process emotions. Reading teaches them compassion and also lets them know that they are not alone in their feelings. Reading stories about characters who conquer their fears is a great way to help them understand that fear is normal and that courage can pay off in the end. A great pick for young children is Pinkalicious and the Amazing Sled Run. Small children will love hearing about Pinkalicious’ little brother Peter who must overcome his nerves to enjoy a day of sledding. And older children will enjoy reading it all by themselves — or aloud to a parent.

Show your child examples of bravery.

There are many ways in which you exemplify bravery without putting on a red cape. You can read your child stories like Pinkalicious and the Amazing Sled Run, or Frog and Toad’s “Dragons and Giants.” You can also tell them about a time when you overcame your fears! You might be surprised by how much they enjoy hearing about what goes on in your life when they aren’t around, particularly if they can relate to the way you felt at the time. Knowing that others have been in the same boat will reassure them that they’re not alone.

Allow your child to take risks.

The world can be a scary place for both children and adults, so it’s easy to feel overprotective. But research suggests that there are benefits to letting kids manage risky outdoor play on their own. You can start small! For example, letting a slightly older child sled down a hill alone probably offers more reward than risk. Of course, we all have to use our best judgment, but allowing them to take risks will make them become more creative, more resilient, and more confident. It may even help you become a bit braver in the process!

Encourage them to try new things.

Allowing your child to try an array of activities will help them figure out what it is they excel at, and enjoy, the most. In winter months, take them to a free skate or sign them up for ice skating lessons. You could also take them to a local ski hill for a day and sign them up for a short lesson to see if they enjoy it. Providing them with a challenge and praising them when they succeed — or just for trying something new — instills courage in an organic way. Plus, they may find some new things to love in the process!

How do you help your children overcome their fears? We’d love to know!

You can find more I Can Read! content on our Parents and Educators page.

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Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Things I Learned from Biscuit – Guest Post by the Author!

Guest post from Biscuit author Alyssa Satin Capucilli to celebrate Biscuit’s 20th anniversary

“Dear Alyssa Satin Capucilli, I think you should write a Biscuit book called, Biscuit Learns How to Read.”

So begins a letter I received after visiting with first grade students recently. Although the young author goes on to instruct what should follow on page one and two, including the “woof, woofs,” he adds that he is sure I can complete the rest of the story on my own! Still, it is the final line of his letter that resonates with me most: “Biscuit books are easy for me to read but that’s what makes reading fun. Love Cami”

Although there is much we hope to celebrate in the life of a young child, it is a particularly magical celebration when a child learns to read independently. Knowing that for the past twenty years, Biscuit has been even a small part of that lifelong celebration is humbling indeed. That over 20 million emergent readers in numerous languages have taken this small yellow puppy and his world into their hearts and their imaginations, is at once awesomely wonderful, and an awesome responsibility as well. Each story serves a slice of life to our youngest; and I want to serve a slice that is gentle and meaningful, filled with hope, compassion, and lots of humor.

When I wrote the first book about Biscuit, I had no idea that over fifty books would follow. Yet, letters from readers stating, “Biscuit is the first book I can read all by myself,” frequently appeared in my mailbox and compelled me to write more and more…and more. I’ve learned through the many letters received that Biscuit may help navigate confusing feelings when we’re not so sure we like our new baby brother after all. I’ve learned that Biscuit may introduce a reader to life on a farm or allow someone to experience the big city from many miles away. I’ve learned that Biscuit, and the little girl who is ever by his side, teach us that although we may be small, our actions are meaningful; whether we are returning a lost duckling to its home, or we help Grandpa carry the groceries, or when we dig in and care for our natural world. Family, friends, community are always there to love us, even if we get a bit muddy now and then.

From “Biscuit haiku,” to stories titled “Biscuit Meets a Lobster” to “Biscuit Builds a Treehouse” I am the grateful recipient of the creations of so many young readers and writers for whom Biscuit is a springboard for their own inventions. I am deeply moved by letters from once struggling and reluctant readers, as well as parents, librarians, and educators who are their champions.

“Woof, woof” may mean many things, but in this moment it means, Thank you, Biscuit. Thank you for helping so many celebrate twenty years of reading.

Want more Biscuit? Visit Biscuit’s page for books, activities, and more!

Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Try Reading Aloud – To Your Pets!

Parents, caretakers, and educators all know the importance of reading together early and consistently. But sometimes even the most eager young reader can get stuck or feel self-conscious about their ability. What’s an adult to do? Suggest reading to your pets!


Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Identify the First Steps in a Lifelong Journey of Reading

Is your child ready to start reading on his or her own? Listening to them sound out their first words can be incredibly satisfying and exciting! But kids develop at all different rates, so knowing what signs to be on the lookout for can help make the learn-to-read experience a more enjoyable (and easier) one for you both.