One Thing You NEED to Do if Your Child Hates Reading
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“Help! My Child Hates Reading.”
It’s hard to know what to do when your child is reluctant to read.
Should you force them to read every day? Should you just let it go?
What if you could get your child to love reading…all on his own?
You need to determine why your child hates reading.
There could be a number of different reasons for this — and maybe your child doesn’t hate reading after all.
Below are a few reasons why she may be a reluctant reader, plus some ideas for getting your child to love reading.
Note: If you’re short on time, simply scroll to the end for a recap of the ways to help your child learn to love reading.
Why Does Your Child Hate Reading?
Fortunately, my daughter has always loved books. In fact, as we speak, she is sitting next to me, “reading” The Little Engine That Could aloud.
However, not all kids enjoy reading, and some might even seem to hate it.
But what if your child actually doesn’t hate to read?
What if he actually has a physical or learning difficulty that is impeding his enjoyment of reading books? Or what if the subject matter just doesn’t interest her?
Here are a few reasons why your child might seem to hate reading:
- reading gives him a headache
- reading makes her eyes hurt
- he struggles or lacks the confidence to read as fast or as well as his peers
- she just isn’t interested in the books she is given to read, or they are not age appropriate
- he has difficulty connecting with the story (doesn’t understand or remember what he just read)
- reading is a chore or has been forced on them
- she hasn’t been exposed to books enough
- he is allowed too much screen time
Help Your Child Learn to Love Stories!
There’s no need to give up on your child’s love of reading yet — he or she still can learn to love reading! Here are a few tips to help encourage your kids to (willingly) read.
Problem: My child hates reading because it causes a headache or eye strain.
Solution: Bring your child to an eye clinic to see if he or she needs glasses.
Vision related problems might cause your child to hate reading. If it’s causing headaches, of course she is going to be reluctant to read!
In addition to correcting their vision, you can read aloud to your child and provide audio books for her to listen to.
Problem: My child hates reading because he struggles or lacks the confidence to read as fast or as well as his peers.
Solution: Have your child evaluated to determine if he or she has dyslexia or a learning disability.
If so, work with your child’s teachers to determine a course of action.
At home, make reading more fun for your child by reading books that are at her reading level. Read them together and discuss the story as you go.
Interactive and activity-based books are great for encouraging reading and making it more fun!
Problem: My child hates reading because she just isn’t interested in the books she is given to read, or they are not age appropriate.
Solution: Expose your child to a variety of books, and let her choose the books she reads.
There are so many different kinds of books out there! Maybe your child just hasn’t been exposed to anything that interests her yet, or maybe they are not age-appropriate.
Take your kids to the library and help them find books that interest them. Then bring the books home to encourage further reading.
Once you have a good idea of what kinds of books interest your child, you can use that information to expand your home library.
Check out my toddler’s all-time favorite books!
Problem: My child hates reading because he has difficulty connecting with the story.
Solution: To help your child understand or remember what he just read, read together and discuss the story while reading, as well as afterward.
For example, pause to ask how he thinks a character feels or what he thinks is going to happen next. You could also help him write and illustrate his own sequel to a story he just read.
Problem: My child hates reading because it is a chore or has been forced on him.
Solution: Make reading fun, not a chore.
It’s a good idea to incorporate reading into your daily routine, but forcing it on a child who isn’t interested can backfire on you.
Rather, encourage reading by making it fun!
- Fill your home with books he is interested in.
- Create a cozy reading nook.
- Place books and other reading material all around the house.
- Choose interactive books.
- Change up voices when reading aloud and act the story out.
- Let them use e-readers.
- Listen to audio books.
- Write your own books together.
Problem: My child hates reading because she hasn’t been exposed to books enough.
Solution: Fill your home with a variety of books.
A cheap way to do this is to visit the library and check out books to bring home. If you want your child to love reading, it’s crucial to expose them to the world of books from a very young age.
Yes, I’m one of those moms who started reading to my daughter as soon as she was born. :o)
If you haven’t exposed your child to reading much yet, though, it’s not too late to start now!
Problem: My child hates reading because he is allowed too much screen time.
Solution: Encourage more reading by purchasing books and toys related to their favorite show.
I’ll admit, my two-year-old watches way too much Octonauts.
Is your child obsessed with a show or video game? Consider getting some books related to that show or game.
I ordered an Octonauts box set to give my daughter for Christmas, and her grandparents recently gave her some Octonauts toys. (She brings them everywhere…even to bed!)
You could read the story and use the toys to act out the story as you go. If nothing else, encourage your child to read using an e-reader and perhaps try out a fun early learning app for kids.
Click here to try Homer’s early learning program FREE for 1 month
Recap of the Solutions
Hopefully you have a better idea now of why your child seems to hate reading.
If not, you can try any of these ideas for helping him or her love to read:
- expose your child to books and reading as early as possible
- incorporate reading into your daily routine
- have your child’s eyes examined and get glasses if needed
- have your child evaluated for dyslexia or disabilities
- listen to audio books with your child
- read together with your child
- discuss the story as you go (and afterward)
- read interactive and activity-based books
- expose your child to a variety of books
- let your child choose the books (s)he reads
- provide age-appropriate reading material
- visit the library and bring books home
- make reading fun, not a chore
- fill your home with books on subjects that interest your child
- create a cozy reading nook
- place books and reading material around the house
- use different voices when reading aloud
- act out the story as you read
- use e-readers
- try out a fun reading app for kids
- write and illustrate your own books together
- read books based on your child’s favorite tv show or video game
- purchase toys based on your child’s favorite tv show or video game
Does your child actually hate reading? Or could be there another issue at hand? If you can determine the cause, maybe your reluctant reader will learn to love reading, after all!
By the way… Did you know that Audible has tons of popular children’s audio books for your kiddos to enjoy? Try it out free for 30 days (and get TWO free audiobooks when you use my link — click here to check it out).
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Great tips!! Reading can be difficult for many reasons my daughter was dyslexic..took us awhile to figure it out!
That’s got to be tough. ☹️☹️
My kids are entering their teen years and they always hated reading as children, which was heartbreaking for me because I’m obsessed with books. But I’ve noticed that if I give them some freedom to read stuff I wouldn’t necessarily enjoy (graphic novels, comics, etc.), it helps them to get more into the idea of reading. They also love books that blockbuster movies are based off of and I figure, “Better for them to read the book after because they love the movie than to never read at all”. Still can’t get them to read Harry Potter, though. Man, they are missing out!
Oh bummer! The Harry Potter books are still my favorites!
I really don’t know if anything would help my son love to read LOL. Great points.
Lol! Some kids just aren’t into it I suppose. ?
Great post! I have one kid who loves reading and books and the other isn’t as into it. I had never thought of some of these points as being a reason why possibly. Thanks for sharing!
Reading is such an important skill and the love of reading is developed most of the time as a child – so really great article and some of the reasons kids may not want to read.
Great tips, I think I had too many books as it became overwhelming for one of my daughters to pick anything at times. Every child is different so some tips may work while others may work for another child but not yours. luckily we found the ways that worked for us and my children do still read not as much as I’d like but i appreciate the small wins x
Great article. Thankfully my daughter LOVES to read. Good to keep in mind if things change though.
This is really well thought out and written. I love these tips. It is so important to make reading a fun activity!
Great Thoughts and ideas!
Thanks for the great ideas!
Wish my parents had read your post! Good thing I still love reading! Thanks for sharing this! Great post!
Great post! I love how you connect each issue with potential solutions. Very helpful.
Luckily my kids loved to read from a young age (they still do!), so we didn’t encounter this problem. But I love your list of ways to help those who do!
Great tips! Reading is important! My daughter did not like reading very much when she was young. But as she got older she loved it more and more.
Great tips! I always loved reading when I was a kid. It will be interesting to see what my future children will be like!
I’m a teacher, and I think this is a great list! Lots of good stuff here.
These are fantastic suggestions! It’s so important. If they don’t like doing it, they won’t do it!
Thank you for the reminder that kids need to connect to the story and that discussion about what they read can help them enjoy it all more!
We were fortunate ~ our boys have loved to read from the get-go. However, I love how you broke down the problem / solution.