HELP – My child hates reading!

Do you have to beg your child to read a book? When you see other children reading books do you wonder what you’ve done wrong? Do you love reading but can’t get your own child to read? Let’s face it, having a reluctant reader is hard. It’s hard to know what to do or even how to react when your own child hates reading.

Try some of these simple steps to help your reluctant reader become a more willing and able reader.
• Zero in on your child’s interests
Ask yourself what excites and intrigues your child. Knowing what your child is interested in can help you select books that they will be more willing to read because it holds their interest.

• Practise shared reading
Shared reading or reading by taking turns is a wonderful technique to encourage a reluctant reader. When doing shared reading choose a book that appeals to your child. The great thing about shared reading is you do not have to read a book that is at your child’s reading level, but you can rather read a book that will hold your child’s attention. Shared reading further enables a weak or reluctant reader to enjoy stories that are rich in vocabulary and allows your child to enjoy the content of the story and not only focus on the actual, often difficult, task of reading. Remember it doesn’t matter if your child reads one page or one paragraph when doing shared reading, it’s about the enjoyment of reading, and understanding of what has been read that matters most.

• Select a “safe” environment
A reluctant reader is often a child who struggles with reading so make sure that when doing reading with your child or having them read to you your environment (and you!!) is a calm and relaxed one.

• Make reading fun
Reading doesn’t just have to be done in the form of a book. Magazines, comics and joke books might not be your first choice to aid your child’s reading but in reality it is these types of reading activities that could actually motivate your child to read. There is something quite irresistible to a child when reading a rude joke! They will try their best to read a joke correctly!

• Most important model reading to your child. Let your child see you reading just for the pleasure of it!

S Leicher.

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