How to Change Their Minds When Your Children Say They Don't Like to Read

Your Child Says He Doesn’t Like to Read. What’s a Parent to Do?

Despite our best efforts, there will be children who will try to convince us that they do not like books, and that they dislike reading. What’s a parent to do?

Here are a few ideas:
  • Take a trip to the library or book store with your child and let him choose a few books by himself. 
  • Keep books on hand at home and in the car. Make books available! 
  • Consider graphic novels. This type of book is popular today and the illustrated volumes just might get those juices going!
  • Snuggle up on the couch and read aloud together. 
  • Talk about the book that you are reading together. Ask questions, explain new vocabulary words, develop alternate endings.
  • Consider keeping an audio book in the car so you both can listen to stories while you’re traveling or even just running errands.
  • Let your child see you enjoy reading! Be a role model and let your child see how excited you get when picking out books for yourself!
  • Designate a cold, rainy day as lazy pj day! Keep the TV off, have everyone remain in their pj’s and spend a lazy day with a book or a pile of books and magazines. Even you, Mom and Dad!
  • Create a book nook or comfortable space in your home, set aside just for reading.

How do you create a book nook?

Any space can be transformed into a cozy spot to curl up with a good book. An awkward corner, a window seat, or an outdoor area can become a comfortable spot for peaceful reading. Even the space under the stairs or an unused top bunk can turn into a reading area!

While designing your space, keep in mind::

To start, you’ll need to plan for comfortable seating and good lighting. Natural streaming (but filtered) sunlight is best, but a nice reading lamp works too. Seating can be a comfy stuffed chair, a cushioned bench or even a stack of fabulous pillows. Anything that your young reader can sink into.

Add shelving or baskets for book storage and maybe a side table to hold a drink, if space allows.

A fun idea is to create a reading cave!

Remember making a tent out of sheets and blankets when you were a kid? Fun, right? A reading cave will be super inviting for young children. Just drape a bed canopy or lacy white curtains from the ceiling, add a hanging lantern and presto – you’ve got a reading cave! Set it up in the corner of a little used room and leave it for the readers to enjoy.

The only rules here are that the space must be used for reading only, and all electronics (including phones) have to be left outside of the nook.

Do you need recommendations for good books? Find them
here and here and here!

Have you tried the above suggestions and your child  continues to show a lack of interest?

There may be underlying issues that need to be addressed. Your child might have trouble understanding what he is reading because of basic decoding or word recognition issues. Troubles with reading fluency, or the ability to recognize words quickly rather than having to sound them out, may make reading slow and frustrating. Focus and attention issues may be another reason that reading is not the fun activity we hope your child will have. Distractions can effect memory and make it difficult to comprehend what is being read. Or it could be a problem of reading level. If your child is trying to read books too far above his current reading level, introduce books that are more appropriate.

We can help with evaluations to see if there are specific areas that need attention and we can develop different strategies to help your child become an effective and life-long reader. Just give us a call!