If there’s one thing that all parents long to see it’s their kid curled up and enjoying a good book. Reading isn’t just one of those things for schools to tick off on their check list but instead it’s a life skill and a love that will stay with your child as they grow into adulthood and remain with them for the rest for their life.
But if you have a reluctant reader, how do you go about encouraging them to dive into a book and uncover all the pleasures that great literature can bring? If your child is of a reading age but point-blank refuses to read it can be for a number of reasons. We take a look at a few possible causes and solutions.
Be honest does your child see you most times with a phone in your hand or a book? Let’s be real, you can’t walk around with your nose in a book all the time but now and again that downtime when they’re sitting quietly for five minutes, you might be able to pick one up and show your child that reading is something you do as much as them. This passive example setting goes a long way and makes reading for pleasure and not just for school, seem normal.
Cover the basics
How is your child getting on at school? Are they struggling with reading in general? If your child is showing signs of finding reading hard, then understand that it can be hugely frustrating for them and be a perfectly valid reason for not wanting to pick up a book unless they really have to.
Talk to their teacher and see if they can help you understand any issues and take on board any advice they give you for encouraging reading. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask them if they’ve noticed any obvious signs of dyslexia for example or anything else that might warrant more support inside and outside of school.
It might be that your small person just hates sitting still, in which case find a book that will move right along with them. Have them solve clues and follow a book-based map or a treasure trail, anything that opens their eyes to the fact that books can come in many shapes and sizes and don’t have to be fiction. As their interests grow, encourage them with more factual and interactive books to accompany their interests. Explain to them that while blogs are great for finding information, often a book can provide a deeper level of insight on anything from a traveling across the United States to how to create perfectly cooked Mexican food.
If your child is still not keen, then consider keeping on just reading to them. This special bedtime ritual is a perfect time to create closeness, great dreams and tell great stories. Don’t panic if you don’t have a reader but persevere in extolling the virtues of great books that can make a real impact on young lives.