As a family life and child development expert, JP has devoted years in nurturing students and strengthening family relations.
Have you ever wondered why your child dislikes reading? They’re often glued to their phones or tablets for hours rather than read. Do you remember the last time your child asked you to buy a new book or visit to the library to borrow something to read? The truth is quite a few children dislike reading. Furthermore, they don’t declare to the world that they hate it. Instead, they’ll just find something else to do. Furthermore, quite a number of parents haven’t even given this much thought. Moreover, deciphering why their child has an aversion to reading is at the bottom of their to-do list. But let’s explore why children do not like reading. Likewise, let’s learn how parents can remedy this concern.
1. Books seem less engaging compared to videos and games
As an educator, I’ve encountered a few parents desperately asking how to keep their children from using their gadgets throughout the day. The truth is, video games, online videos and apps are doing a great job in engaging young minds. Whether it’s in aid of their education or not, is a debatable topic. But suffice to say, it’s doing a better job at acquiring kids’ attention than books. And this is alarming!
So how can parents help children enjoy reading more than using their gadgets and phones? The first an important step is to help them manage their time. This means, allocating time for reading and time for doing other activities. Next, limit your child’s screen time. I often tell the parents and students that they spend twice as much time reading and studying than playing online games.
2. The topic is uninteresting to your child
Another reason why children dislike reading is lack of interest on the book’s topic. Just imagine giving a child a book on differential calculus instead of a book filled with interesting objects that he or she likes. Keep in mind that your child’s interests may vary from yours. Moreover, what you want them to read may not be the ones that they like.
Parents can remedy this concern by understanding what their kids want. Instead of imposing what they should read, consider what they find interesting. Now tell me, what does your child like? I have students who like dinosaurs while another one likes princesses and unicorns. The critical take away here is to provide reading materials that your child finds interesting. I have a grade 5 student who like Genshin Impact as well as trigonometry. I provide her reading materials on these topics. I encouraged her parents to allow her to explore topics and interests. I am sure your child may have a different set of likes and dislikes. Use this knowledge to choose books and reading materials the will whet their appetite for reading.
3. They’re too difficult to understand
Every night before I went to bed, my father would choose a book from the shelf and had me read a page. Sounds harmless, right? Well, consider this, I was in kindergarten and the book was an encyclopedia. Much of what I read, I had no idea how to pronounce. And come to think of it, I was oblivious of what most of the words meant. I abhorred this nightly ritual! But more importantly, I developed an aversion to reading due of this experience.
One student of mine confessed that he didn’t like reading since he couldn’t understand what it said. Our children will always encounter unfamiliar words but this should not discourage them from reading. In fact, unlocking new words from what we read is an organic way to expand one’s vocabulary. In addition, idiomatic expressions, jargon, and technical vocabulary causes problems in comprehension. This befuddles numerous kids and quite a few adults that I know. Thus, it discourages them from reading. I remember how I felt when I first read Beowulf or how I struggled to appreciate the works of Shakespeare. But after some effort, I learned to appreciate Beowulf and concluded that Shakespeare is not for me. Children would rather shy away from books that they find intimidating and eventually give up on reading altogether. And when children create a negative attitude towards reading, it becomes quite disheartening.
To address this concern, parents need to understand their children’s reading level. Of course, you do not need to pay for an expensive test on this. Rather, take the time to learn the extent of your child’s vocabulary. Moreover, understand the level of your child’s reading comprehension. However, when you’re still in doubt, consider the age of your child and choose suitable reading materials. But remember that every child progresses differently thus, have some wiggle room. Help your children enjoy reading by providing suitable reading materials. When buying books, peruse through material and check if the words used are appropriate for your child’s level.
4. Reading seems like a chore
Not everyone view reading as a pleasurable activity. Others believe it as a chore that requires considerable effort. I do not blame them since they probably didn’t develop the habit of reading. Also, many school demand that students read copious amounts of material. That alone condition students to detest this activity.
As a parent, I understand how crucial reading is to my child’s future. We started her on the habit of reading early on in her life. When she was younger, we read to her regularly. Likewise, most of our activities at home involved reading. Eventually she acquired the habit of reading every night. Creating a habit takes time so start early. Another strategy is to transform reading into a fun activity is to start with books that your child likes. This means exploring different topics, writers and even the platform (yes, we have e-books as well as printed materials). It also works when we reward our child with books. Associating fun and positive vibes with books create positive attitude towards reading. Perhaps your child will eventually enjoy it too.
Reading is a lifelong skill that requires development early on in our child’s life. This means breaking through the negative attitudes that our kids may have towards reading. Moreover, understanding why children dislike reading will equip us with the right knowledge on how to tackle the issue. More importantly, when we know why kids hate reading, we can devise an appropriate course o faction. In the end, we only want what is best for our kids. We must include reading as part of the list that is advantageous for them. If your child does not like reading, it’s about time for you to discover why.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 JP Carlos