Overview: Does your child hate reading? Learn easy ways to change your approach so that your child will no longer hate to read!
Some of our kids hate to read. This is even true for parents who LOVE books and who appreciate the value of books and reading. How is this possible?!? One of the most heartbreaking things about the information age is that an increasing number of children are growing up thinking they hate reading.
Our society is currently experiencing a literacy crisis! Check out these shocking facts:
- Only 50% of parents read to their children who are ages 5 and under!
- 2/3rds of students who cannot read at grade level by 4th-grade end up on welfare or incarcerated!
- 33% of high school graduates will never read a book after high school!
- 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read!
- 32 Million Adults in the U.S. are illiterate!
Which one is MOST shocking to you? The fact is that American children are reading LESS and suffering for it. Is your child headed in this direction? If you’re struggling to figure out how to help your child with reading, then you’re in the right place. Your child can not only learn how to be a proficient reader, but he can also come to enjoy it.
My Child Refuses to Read
Even parents who are well aware of how important books are to their child’s long-term well being also know the pain of having at least one child who doesn’t enjoy reading. These understand the mechanics of HOW to read. And many of them will even read the books we hand to them… at least they will if we push them hard enough. But they aren’t reading for pleasure. They aren’t CHOOSING to read.
There are several issues which can cause kids to baulk at picking up a book. We’ll explore these issues one at a time.
Sometimes the issue is that our kids are suffering from a physical issue such as having poor vision. The first thing to try is to have your child’s vision tested by a pediatric ophthalmologist who is used to working with younger children and who will help rule out any issues in this area.
The next thing to diagnose would be whether your child has dyslexia. There are lots of resources available for people with this learning difference, so make sure you reach out to get your child the help he needs. Take heart! Having dyslexia does not mean your child will never read.
Are Screens the Issue?
Sometimes the issue is that our kids are spending so much time on screens that books have a hard time holding their attention. Programmers design video games to give our kids Dopamine hits, which cause them to want to continue playing. And these games are highly visual and engaging. So it can be hard for books to compete.
It’s important for us to give our children plenty of non-screen time so that their brains don’t shut down when we take the games away. I do feel that a good balance is important in this area because we’re living in a technologically rich world and our kids need to know how to function in this world. But it’s incredibly easy to become unbalanced in this area and for screens to play too large of a role in our children’s lives. And in ours, if we’re honest.
The Importance of Continuing to Read Aloud
When our kiddos are little, we spend lots of time reading to them and looking at books with them. Talking about what we’ve read. Really experiencing books with our children. But unfortunately, lots of parents stop reading to their kids as soon as they’re able to read on their own.
Please don’t make this mistake!
Our children benefit from us continuing to read aloud to them even after they are reading proficiently on their own. They can develop a genuine love for books and reading while experiencing books with us they might not choose to read on their own.
5 EASY Ways to Get Your Kids Reading MORE Without Whining or Crying
- How can I make it obvious?
- How can I make it attractive?
- How can I make it easy?
- How can I make it satisfying?
Tip 1: How can I make it obvious?
Tip 2: How can I make it attractive?
- Help them form book groups with their friends. They can discuss the books and then have a movie night and enjoy special snacks together.
- Create a cozy reading atmosphere by letting them sip hot chocolate, having background music playing, turning on the fireplace, or whatever else you can do to add to the ambiance.
- Encourage your kids to read autobiographies of their favorite sports stars or people who are experts in whatever fields interest them.
- READING FOR PLEASURE is important! If we always expect our kids to read books that are difficult for them, we can easily turn them off to reading altogether.
Tip 3: How can I make it easy?
It’s time to come up with a plan. What’s ONE thing you will put into place to make reading EASIER for your child.
Tip 4: How can I make it satisfying?
Our kiddos are more likely to find a behavior attractive if they get to do one of their favorite things at the same time or shortly after. This is called Temptation Bundling, and it’s a great way to help them establish new habits.
Good Habits Can Be Enjoyable, too!
Doing the thing you NEED to do means you get to do the thing you WANT to do. This makes the new habit more attractive than it would be otherwise.
Also, be sure you TELL your child about the reward they’re earning rather than surprising them with it. It is the ANTICIPATION of a reward – not the fulfillment of it – that gets us to take action. The greater the anticipation, the greater the dopamine spike.
Sort of like how planning a vacation can sometimes be more EXCITING than the vacation itself!
Watch this video clip for more of my advice!
What is ONE thing you will do to make reading more satisfying for your children?
Tip 5: How can I choose the right books for my child?
If your kiddos have been balking at reading, you may want to rethink the books you’re asking them to read. We’re all unique individuals and we learn to love reading at different ages and with different types of books.
Stop looking for books you think your child SHOULD be able to read and look for ones they CAN read. And can enjoy reading. Just because your son or daughter is in 4th grade doesn’t mean he or she is able to comfortably read at that level.
Your child will also be more eager about reading if you give him books about things he’s passionate about. If your child loves dinosaurs, give him books about dinosaurs. If he loves fantasy novels, let him read fantasy novels. Think about it. What types of books do YOU choose to read for pleasure? Are they books about things you enjoy or want to learn about? Or do you choose to read about subjects that bore you to tears? If we choose to read books about things we enjoy, why do we insist our children spend so much time reading about things in which they have no interest?
Another thing to consider is how your child learns best. Is your child:
B. They read it and remember it
C. Listening helps them absorb the info
D. A mix of the above
Hands-on learners learn best when they’re DOING something. Look for books with projects, activity books, flap books, and other books that will provide an interactive experience for your child.
Kids who read things and remember them are usually the ones who identify as readers and aren’t reluctant readers. The biggest issue you probably have is keeping enough books in your home to keep this child’s book supply stocked sufficiently.
If your child learns best through listening to info, consider stocking up on audiobooks, pointing him/her to podcasts, and YouTube videos rather than traditional books.
If your child is artistic or loves video games, try having them read graphic novels to see if they gravitate more to books that are highly visual with the text broken up.
Watch this video clip for more of my advice!
What is ONE thing you will try to do differently when choosing books for your children?
Finding Engaging Reading Resources
I hope that you’re feeling ENCOURAGED that your reluctant readers CAN learn to love reading. It’s true. The process takes longer for some people than for others, but EVERYONE CAN BECOME READERS! There’s hope!!!
Usborne Books and More has a HUGE selection of almost 2,000 titles that are engaging and highly interactive. They are a superb choice to use when filling your home with books that will entice your children to spend more time reading. If you’re realizing you need to stock up on some books that will be more engaging for your child, comment below to let me know the ages and interests of your kiddos so that I can make a personalized book list for you!!!
If your BUDGET won’t allow you to REFRESH your child’s BOOKSHELF, I have a solution. Host an online book event with me. You invite family and friends to take part and I do the rest! Usborne offers GENEROUS host rewards, so you can fill your bookshelves without breaking the bank!
Check out this HOSTESS HAUL from one of my recent online book events. I’d love to help you earn an enormous stack of books just like this. Please comment below if you’d like to see my next open dates!
- Be intentional about IMPLEMENTING what we’ve learned.
- Evaluate how well that worked.
- Implement another aspect of what we’ve learned.
- Evaluate again.