My little boy traces his finger over the letter M and makes an mmmmmm sound. He’s eager to learn letters, stopping and tracing over any letters he comes across. He makes the right sound for the ones he knows and random sounds for those he doesn’t.

We are teaching him slowly with the help of the book “Teach your child to read in 100 Easy lessons”. It’s not always easy as I find myself reading up on how to pronounce letters given we have multiple languages in the family.

What struck me is to have patience and repeat simple concepts again and again until they are firm. We take for granted that most of us can read, having learnt these skills as young children ourselves. I am very grateful that I can read as it opens new worlds that stimulate, entertain and educate.

It also reminds me when you first start learning anything, it’s not always easy, even though there’s the phrase “as easy as learning your ABCs”. It takes time, practice and effort. There’s often a learning hurdle to cross.

As adults, we are often expected to take on new tasks and get up to speed quickly, be it speaking on stage, cooking, writing, whatever it is. With a little patience and breaking it down into the equivalent of ABCs, it may go faster.

Be kind to yourself and start with A.