I loved reading as a kid, but my brothers don’t really bother. And because of that my mother was always stressed on making them read their books. Every night, she sat with them and scolded them whenever they tried to escape or complained about reading texts and books.
Sitting on my own and quietly enjoying the book I’m reading(which is not necessarily my textbook, my mother won’t bother as long as I’m reading) I was quite perplexed as to why they hate something I enjoyed to do 365 days a year. I asked my brothers once why they don’t like to read and one said it’s boring and it makes him feel sleepy, the other said, it’s difficult and the third ( I have three younger brothers) said he just don’t like reading.
For many years I have watched my mother as she persuaded my brothers, in vain, to read as much as I do but she failed. As for me, I could say that I have quite accidentally found interest in reading and she was hoping my brothers will do the same. But every child is different and one approach may work for one child and not work for another.
Thinking back on those years that I watched my mother and with insights also on what I learned from child development, I listed down five possible reasons why your child disliked or may even seem to hate reading.
1.You make reading sound like a chore.
As a kid, I hate doing chores. I think all kids do, or maybe I’m just an exception. But most of the times, chores aren’t an interesting thing to do and it could be really dull and uninspiring. They seem like a demand and a form of drudgery. And when you make reading as something that they should do and demand to them, they may feel resistive and won’t like to read.
My mother would often make my brothers read and scold them if they don’t want like how she scolds us when we don’t want to do the dishes. And somehow, my brothers had equated reading as one of the chores our mother wants them to do. ( Sorry Ma, I love you :* :D)
2.Your child has difficulty with reading.
A child may like to read but may feel frustrated or bored and will lose interest when he has difficulty with reading. There may be an underlying problem why he/she struggles and it could be a reading problem like dyslexia, where a child has difficulty decoding a language or has visual or audio processing issues you are not aware of. Knowing the reasons behind his difficulties could help in coming up with ways to help your child to read.
3. Your child is easily distracted.
Your child may have difficulty concentrating and focusing on a task. If that is so, he may hate having to sit for some time and read. Reading requires them to focus and they may hate it when it is difficult for them to focus. A child who has concentration issues may have an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD which may require them to be taught in a non-traditional way.
4. The books you give are not at their current reading level.
A child may be at a certain age but is at a different reading level than the rest of his class. Reading something that is too difficult for him may make him frustrated and disliked reading in the process while reading books that are too easy for him may bore him too. Though there are children who like to read however easy or difficult the book is for them. Let them have the fun in what they are doing while helping them increase their reading level (if the book is higher than their current reading level) by guiding them through parts where they may get stuck or have difficulties. There are free assessments online and some offers printables you can download for free that help you determine your child’s current reading level or you could ask his teacher herself.
5. The books you give them are not their type.
We all have that favorite book which we really enjoy reading and you may think your child may want it too so you give it to him to read. It’s natural, we all want others to appreciate our favorite. But if the child doesn’t show interest in the book after your recommendation and after “seeing” or scanning it himself, don’t push it. Or he may end up hating books and reading. Just keep handing your child books and let them have the freedom to read what they like. Let them have full control in their reading preferences and they will surely find reading a personal thing and have the passion for it.
Seeing your child reading may make you happy and fulfilled but that doesn’t mean you have to push them to read. Let your child find their way into reading and guide them through the process. Never let them feel they need to do it or it will spoil the fun. Reading could benefit a child so much and is a good habit. But a child is still a child and he may opt to play more than reading. If that is so, allow them the freedom to do what they enjoy. Playing has its own benefits too and like reading is beneficial to a child’s development.
Can you relate to this post? What are your experiences in getting a child to read books? Please share with us in the comments.