If you know a child that hates to read and will avoid reading as much as possible, please read on! Here are some great solutions for parents, teachers and tutors to this common problem that causes concern and worry. There are tried and tested ways to give every child the priceless gift of a love of reading. Try some today!
Easy Solutions to Reading Aversion
Aversion – a strong feeling that you dislike something.
Reading is a God-Given Right
Three year-olds ask a lot of questions! And these are not your average questions – What time is it? Or, What’s for dinner? These are deep piercing contemplations about the cosmos, the afterlife and the day-to-day running of Disney World. All of us at any age should share a three year old’s determination and commitment to gaining knowledge by learning as much as possible about the world we live in. In fact, we have a God-given right to learning, and reading is an essential part of that journey.
Finding our Purpose in Life
Most people believe that there is a Greater Force at work in the process of making us and instilling in us certain unique characteristics, gifts and talents. We want our children to realize their full potential and grow into their purpose especially if we feel that we are not living our true purpose. Reading is a key step towards developing the gifts that are uniquely theirs. Whatever their talents there are hundreds of books that will open their minds and motivate their continued study.
Where do you Hear that?
If your child does not read and find out for himself, he makes decisions and forms opinions based on the false information that others feed him. Whether it is from a group of peers, a misguided adult or an explicit movie, your child will learn through what he hears (or sees) rather than what he reads.
There’s a Thin Line …
A child that expresses an aversion to reading, avoids reading or would rather do anything else (including the dishes) has been affected by a negative force that interrupted his desire and willingness to learn. Once a correction is made, your child will be on the road to reading and loving to read to your amazement and delight!
EASY SOLUTIONS FOR YOU!
There are many reasons why a child has an aversion to reading. The good news is that with plenty of patience and consistency, your child will be asking you to take them to the library!
Problem 1: Lack of Interest
We all have different tastes and this is reflected in our choice of reading material. Often children are forced to read books they have no interest in, so they become reluctant to read and don’t see reading as a source of entertainment.
Become interested in your child’s likes and dislikes. Spend quality time with your child at a bookstore or library. The role of a parent is to encourage and grow an interest. A budding chef can be directed to a recipe book (yes, that’s reading), a sports fan can be encouraged to read a sports magazine or stats about their favorite team/athlete (that’s reading too!).
Books and websites to build interest
A big plug for this site www.bookadventure.com . Go to the book finder link below to search for a list of books according to your child’s interests (K-8). They can read the book, take the quiz and get prizes. I use it to generate a list of books for the child I am working with. Then I request a few from my local library or look for them at a local second hand book store.
Into facts and stats? Check out:
Guinness World Records 2012 www.guinnessworldrecords.com
Ripley’s Believe It or Not www.ripleybooks.com
Manga, comic books and graphic novels – most libraries and bookstores have plenty!
Into gaming? Check out:
The Denver Public Library’s “Books for Gamers”
Into fashion? Check out:
Rani and the Fashion Divas by Anjali Banerjee – for girls ages 8-12
Fashion 101: A Crash Course in Clothing by Erika Stalder
Problem 2: Frustration
Have you considered that your child may be lacking in some of the “must have” reading skills that would make his reading experience warm and fuzzy? Phonics, blending, fluency and vocabulary are all key elements of reading and understanding what is being read. Misunderstood words, ignoring punctuation, misplaced tone and the omission or addition of words make the text impossible to comprehend and brings on feelings of anger, frustration, sadness or apathy.
Ask your child to read aloud to you (don’t force – if they say no, try again another time). Make him feel relaxed and calm, if necessary take turns and read a paragraph each. Do you notice him struggling with words and stumbling through the text? If so, choose another book at a lower reading level (use an internet search to find the reading level if you don’t know it, or use www.bookadventure.org). Use a free website like www.readingmecca.com to brush up on lacking reading skills (most children and adults would benefit and improve reading by studying phonics) and gradually the frustration will disappear.
Problem 3: Anxiety
Parents can be very pushy with their child’s education (guilty as charged!). “Is this the best you can do?”, “I didn’t have the chances that you have”, “I had to get a job as soon as I was old enough”. We want the best for them and sometimes we continue to demand more even when they are working hard. If a child is forced to read by a parent or teacher or has been laughed or mocked while reading, then reading is seen as a negative activity that must be avoided. Who wants to relive an embarrassing moment? (Not me! Being punched by a girl getting self-defense lessons from her buff boyfriend in the middle of a very crowded room at college still gives me chills!)
Patience x 100
Your child must be treated carefully and be given a safe reading environment by a parent, teacher or tutor, free from criticism and pressure. Suggest reading aloud to you in 15 minute sessions. Get plenty of interesting reading materials, funny stories, short, dramatic stories, mysteries – whatever will be interesting. Build your child’s confidence in his own ability to read and with time and all that patience you will see them blossom. While you are working on this you may want to speak to your child’s teacher to ask her if your child may be excused from reading aloud in class for a while.
Problem 4: “I’m Too Busy to Read”
“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”Confucius
Pretty straightforward! Your child may have a hectic schedule of school, homework, music lessons, sports activities, tutoring and chores – no matter what the obstacles reading is a must. Help them to schedule reading into their days or on the weekends. Maybe choose a special book or series to read during the holidays.
Or, you may be faced with a child who thinks they are busy, but most of their time is squandered (forgive me, but this irks me!) on television, movies, video games, internet dilly-dallying (what is the real name for it then?) and the like.
A child has to be nurtured and developed into the person that they have been pre-determined to be. This is where you have to be the parent and not the friend! Set time limits and viewing rules to create habits in your child so that they will not be destined to be a couch potato and and watch everyone else live! Who invited this unwelcome guest to control your household? Time to take back control without force but with understanding and good communication. Discuss with your child the consequences of too much viewing time, talk about how many ads they are watching, how many ideas that they may be passing up by not developing them.
Let’s make reading aversion a thing of the past for our children and any other youth that we come into contact with. Reading is infectious, the popularity of ebooks, Kindles, Nooks, iPads and tablets prove that. Learning is a right that belongs to your child and reading is the path for that lifelong journey.
I admire your efforts to help your child enjoy the reading experience!
Happy reading, Tara.