6 amazing ways to get a child to read when they refuse

Book Suggestions, Children


Have you ever felt your child literally despises reading? Whenever you try to make them read, or you try to discuss any topic related to any character of any book, or you try to make them listen to nightly reading, they just get frustrated and find ways to miss on the chance to participate?

According to a study by Dr. Reid Lyon, former Chief of the Child Development and Behaviour Branch within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), approximately twenty to thirty percent of American children experience reading problems. (1)

Some of the reasons why children refuse to read include,

  • Lack of support and literacy-rich environment
  • Problems with reading and understanding basic words
  • Feeling overwhelmed around books and not feeling any connection with them
  • Feeling of being forced into reading
  • Boredom
  • Too much screen time
  • Little confidence in their reading ability
  • Speech and development issues
  • Inability to find the right type of books etc.

It may seem challenging to make your child interested in reading, but I have some easy ways through which you can make your child a book lover and reader again.

1.Encourage your child to read wordless picture books:

Children get overwhelmed by words. One of the reasons why they refuse to read is because new words and storylines are confusing, and they find it difficult to get used to new words, their pronunciation, and understand certain sounds and language patterns.

To encourage them to adapt to what is happening in a book, make them read books that have only pictures. Wordless books use illustrations that help children improve their imagination and understand the plot and structure.

Once your child starts understanding the story structure, you can get them the usual books because they would have already developed imaginative thinking and would be intrigued by new storylines.

2.Find out their hurdle:

No child completely hates reading. There are some skills they lack, or there is a missing link or something that takes their interest off the books. Once you figure out the hurdle for your child, you can work on removing it, ultimately leading them back to books.

Some children feel anxious about the number of words they see on a page. But they are very good at listening to audiobooks. To get free audiobooks, click here Similarly, some children get overwhelmed by some specific genres, but they do feel comfortable reading books that don’t belong to those genres, so you can encourage them to read those.

As soon as you recognize your child’s issue, you can come up with an alternative to help them out and ease their reading tension.

3.Give your child the freedom to choose:

One of the major reasons why children refuse to read is because they are forced into reading the type of books their teachers or parents see as a good fit.

Just give your child the freedom to read the book they like even if it is not good enough or is not according to their level. When a child feels they can choose what to read, it motivates them to read, and their little minds don’t feel restricted or pressured. Suggest them books but don’t force your choice.

4.Connect the bookish world with the real world:

Books don’t just have to be related to theories and imagination. You can connect them to real life, places, and people. You can take a place from the book and visit it with your child, or you can try out any activity or cook any dish mentioned in the book and engage your child in it.

Once your child feels that books aren’t just words spread across pages but are related to real-life, they will start taking an interest in exploring them.

5.Make comfy reading places:

Reading doesn’t always have to be associated with libraries or sitting at a study table. It can be so much more than that. Try to create different reading places for your child. You can make small reading places under the staircase, in the tree house, in the garden, or any comfy place your child likes to hang out.

Comfy reading places encourage children to read in their own comfort zone. Some comfy reading place ideas are listed here.

6.Engage yourself in books:

You cannot ask your child to love reading unless you show them that it is a fun thing that everyone should do. Try reading more in front of your child and try engaging them in a book discussion.

You can organize family sessions with fun little competitions where everyone should be encouraged to share their opinion on different books, draw their favorite thing from a book and share their imagination. Establish a reward system for small reading achievements. When all your family will be engaged with the books, the interest of your child will peak naturally.

The Bottom Line:

If you make reading a fun activity for your child, they will not run away from it but towards it. Help them adapt to new books, ideas, and words, and have discussion sessions with them during breakfast or during hot chocolate time.

The more freedom you give your child to read, the more openly they will choose and read books of their choice. Remember to be patient because it may take some time to get your child fond of reading, but if you use the tips we mentioned, they will eventually love reading.

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