Do you find yourself concerned about your child’s lack of enthusiasm for reading? It’s possible that you have a young child who is in the early stages of learning to read. Despite your efforts to encourage them through shared reading sessions, each encounter with a book becomes a challenge. Your child actively avoids reading, treating it as if it were a despised vegetable. Alternatively, your child may already possess reading skills but simply lack the desire to engage in reading activities. They might even boldly declare, “I hate reading,” to your face. What led to your child’s aversion to reading? In essence, it can be attributed to one crucial factor: the love for reading was never sparked or has been extinguished over time. Here are Eight Reasons Why Your Child Hates Reading:
Reading sessions are more like drilling sessions
Avoid quizzing and testing children during reading sessions. Instead, feel free to point out interesting aspects and ask questions that promote critical thinking, all while ensuring the experience remains enjoyable and fun. It’s important not to turn it into a high-pressure teaching session. While you may hope that they learn something from reading, it’s best not to make that your primary objective. The main focus should be on reading to savor the story and find pleasure in the process. Often, learning naturally takes place when teaching is not overtly explicit or forced.
Television, video and computer games takes center stage
When it comes to relaxation and entertainment, activities other than reading can strongly distract children. It’s important to establish limits on these activities if you want to show them that books can also be enjoyable and entertaining. By setting boundaries on excessive screen time or other distractions, you create space for them to explore the entertainment value of books. Balancing these activities helps to shift their focus towards reading and cultivate an appreciation for the entertainment that books can provide.
Reading books that are too difficult for their reading level
It can be disheartening for children when they open a book and encounter words they don’t know how to read. The joy of reading diminishes when struggling to get through a page. To promote a positive reading experience, it’s essential to consider your child’s reading ability and provide books that are appropriate for their level. By selecting books that align with their current skills, you can enhance their confidence and enjoyment in reading. Gradually progressing to more challenging texts as their proficiency improves will help maintain their enthusiasm for reading while fostering continuous growth.
Reading sessions turn into screaming and put down sessions
It’s important for parents to maintain realistic expectations of their children’s progress in reading. It’s natural for children to learn at their own pace, and it’s crucial to control frustrations when they don’t excel as quickly as desired. Be mindful of your language and avoid making derogatory remarks such as, “Can’t you remember that word? We just read it,” or “I’ve told you many times already. What’s wrong with you?” Such comments can negatively impact their self-esteem and motivation to continue learning. Instead, provide patience, support, and encouragement as they navigate their reading journey. Celebrate their efforts and progress, creating a positive and nurturing environment that fosters their love for reading.
Reading books that are of no interest to them
Children often find certain books to be boring, especially when they fail to capture their interest. For example, a young boy might find a book about dinosaurs more captivating than a book featuring generic characters like Dick and Jane. To engage teenagers in reading, it’s essential to provide them with books that they can relate to. Consider their specific interests and preferences. For instance, if they are drawn to themes of love, romance, or friendship, offer books that explore those topics. Capitalize on your child’s hobbies and passions by selecting books that align with their individual interests. By providing reading material that resonates with them, you can increase their enthusiasm and enjoyment of reading.
For older children, assigned readings as part of homework can sometimes make reading feel like a burdensome task. The requirement to complete a report or assignment at the end further reinforces this perception. While the intention behind such assignments is typically positive, it is common for children to view reading as a chore under these circumstances. Moreover, the assigned reading may not align with their personal preferences or interests, making it even less enjoyable for them. This situation can create a feeling of reluctance and make reading akin to dragging one’s feet through the mud. It is important for educators and parents to strike a balance by incorporating a variety of reading materials and allowing children some choice in their assigned readings. This can help foster a sense of ownership and engagement, making reading a more enjoyable experience rather than solely a mandatory task.
Another factor that significantly affects older children is the potential cruelty of their peers in terms of branding and teasing. Children who are perceived as book enthusiasts may be labeled as “nerds” or “geeks.” Consequently, some children may choose to avoid books altogether in order to fit in and be accepted among their peers. The desire to be seen as one of the “cool kids” can override their interest in reading, leading them to shun books to avoid potential social stigma. It’s crucial for parents and educators to foster a positive reading culture that celebrates diverse interests and discourages judgment based on reading preferences. By creating an inclusive and accepting environment, children can feel more comfortable embracing their love for reading without fear of negative labels or social repercussions.
Limiting what children read
Imagine if you loved sci-fi books but was told you could only read classics. What a damper that would be for you right? Be open to what your child wants to read. You may think your child has moved passed picture books but he wants it anyway. Let him. Or you may think reading comic books have less educational value then reading well known novels. Remember, it’s a book in their hands nonetheless. So, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, picture books, comic books, magazines etc… be supportive.
To encourage your child to develop a love for reading, it’s important to demonstrate that reading is fun and enjoyable. Avoid pushing too hard for them to learn to read or view reading solely as a means to acquire knowledge. Instead, focus on nurturing a genuine love and appreciation for reading. Make reading an enjoyable and engaging activity by exploring various genres, reading together, and discussing books. Create a positive and inviting reading environment at home with a wide range of books that cater to their interests. When children develop a genuine love for reading, the learning naturally follows. Allow their curiosity and interests to guide their reading choices, and support them in their reading journey with patience, encouragement, and a sense of joy.