WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CHILD HATES READING
What happens when you’ve read thousands of bedtime stories, traipsed to the library every week and sometimes several times a week, as if it was an amusement park, to check out books, read everything from labels to billboards, signs and beyond? When you’ve pulled out every strategy in the book, and then some, to develop your child’s love for reading only to be told, “Who cares about reading?”
When my 6 year-old boldly uttered those words, I was crushed. How could I not be? Books were, are…life. Ultimately, I knew he’d eventually come around.
So, why would some kids rather clean their room than read?
Children typically hate reading for 4 reasons: ⠀
1. It’s hard. Kids who struggle with reading typically aren’t too fond of it, which makes perfect sense. Children and adults alike don’t typically enjoy things that are challenging. ⠀
2. They think it’s boring. Nobody wants to do something that’s going to bore them to tears, right? The thing is, they haven’t found that book that speaks to them. One they can relate to or has something in it for them. ⠀
3. Too many distractions. From social media, video games, technology – they are all distractions to reading.
4. Negative view of reading. When children hear or see parents or people who are close to them don’t value reading, it can affect their motivation or perception of reading.⠀
Well, my kiddo was an excellent reader and didn’t have any of those distractions. He just hadn’t found the, ‘What’s-in-it-for-me factor.’ Just a year later that came in the form of his kindergarten teacher named Mrs. Knight. She challenged him through Reading Counts and told him what a good reader he was. After a few months of that, he was hooked! ⠀
Here are 5 strategies to win them over:
1. If you suspect or know they are struggling with reading, do some investigation and discover which area they’re struggling with and work on it. Or, contact their teacher to see if the problem is being addressed at school. ⠀
2. Is boredom the culprit? Take a trip. to the library or bookstore, have someone guide you to books that involve their favorite hobby or character. Give them the freedom to choose their own books. And, introduce them to some fun graphic novels like Baby Mouse, Captain Underpants, Dog Man, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and more.
3. Are they distracted by technology and media? Reduce the amount of time they watch devices or play video games. I highly suggest that you remove computers, laptops, and televisions from their rooms. My kids have never been allowed to have TVs in their rooms. To build their interest in reading, leave book crumbs (enticing information, visual pieces of print that pique their curiosity) that make reading irresistible by leaving interesting magazines around the house. Clip or print out short stories you think they might like.
4. To combat negativity, make sure you demonstrate that you value reading by speaking positively about it and showing interest in books. Although you can’t control what other people say, if you hear a negative comment about reading, try to override it with positive ones.
5. If all else fails, enlist help. Talk to family members, friends, teachers, and get them to rave about reading to your kiddo. Tell them to ask your child about what book they are currently reading. Encourage them to buy books that would fit them.
Even with your best efforts, it won’t happen overnight or on your timetable. Give it some time, stay consistent, and it will happen.
If you have book detester, try these strategies and see what happens.
Happy (And Much Successful) Reading!