Does your child seem disinterested in reading?
Do you find yourself constantly battling to get your child to practice their reading?
Does it sometimes feel as though you are doing all the hard work?
It can be challenging to get your child to want to read. I know with my own child it can be a struggle some days. He squirms and fidgets, does not concentrate, guesses words, sighs and asks how much more he has to read.
There will be days your child does not want to or does not enjoy reading but by understanding why they probably hate reading you can make those days the exception rather than the norm.
You need to inspire a love of reading.
Reasons Your Child Hates Reading
1. Reading is not fun
Keep reading sessions fun if your child wants to read in a funny voice let them. If they want to read standing up that is okay too. Don’t make teaching the objective of your reading sessions. Use questions before, during, and after reading to encourage learning.
2. Too much television, video and computer game time
We have such busy lives sometimes it is easier to let our children have more screen time than they should. Encourage them to read a book for some relaxation and quiet time. Even if they cannot yet read without help, encourage them to spend time looking at the pictures and tell you what they think is happening in the book while you are doing a task like cooking dinner.
3. Books are not level appropriate
Your child will not enjoy reading if every page seems like a struggle. Let them read books that they are familiar with and that are level appropriate to build their confidence. It is also important for them to keep progressing so introduce books a level up to increase their vocabulary but keep a balance this way your child won’t hate reading. Read our post on 30 Best Books for Beginner Readers for ideas on books your child may enjoy.
4. Unrealistic expectations
It can be frustrating when your child is squirming around and appears not to be concentrating. Think about how you feel when you have to learn something new. It is not comfortable and can seem daunting and your child will be experiencing the same feelings. Keep sessions short, be realistic about their capabilities and enjoy the time together. If either of you are having an off day – put the books down and find another way to introduce reading into the day through some fun activities.
5. Book topic does not interest them
Your child may love unicorns, dinosaurs or trains, if so let them read books about these. If they are reading about something they are interested in they are far more likely to enjoy reading.
6. Forced to read
Children can view reading as a chore to be done. Once children start school, reading becomes a task that needs to be done. For early readers this takes the form of books to practice reading at home. You can mix up the practice sessions by introducing re-enactment of the story.
For older children they have to read assigned books and complete a book report. You could agree to watch the movie together once they have read the book, encourage them to form a book club or read the same book yourself so that you can discuss the book with them.
7. Peer pressure
This can affect older children. Unfortunately, as children get older a love of reading can be associated with being a ‘nerd’. If you notice that your child all of a sudden seems disinterested in reading discuss this with them to try and find the root cause.
8. Limiting reading to books only
Inadvertently we can limit what our child reads as we have preconceived ideas about the print format reading should be in. If your child enjoys comics or magazines let them read them. Don’t insist they read books.
If you want to get your child reading; you have to first show that it is fun and enjoyable. Don't push too hard. Only when there is a love for reading can the learning begin.
There are some excellent magazine subscriptions available that will educate and delight your child whilst encouraging them to read.
Below are some of our best picks