If you are a parent, then some of you have probably heard your kids saying ‘I hate reading’ almost every day.
But, if you have tried asking them to explain why they hate reading, they probably got stuck with no answer.
The reason is, that most children don’t really hate reading, but they rather find it too difficult and associate it with nothing that is fun.
In order to understand this, one needs to observe the ‘hate for reading’ from a child’s perspective; not only do they have to detect an endless string of words on a page, but they also have to understand it. That is when reading gets difficult, tedious, and no fun, after all.
When your kid says they hate reading, it is because they are trying to conceal their deficiencies. They are either overwhelmed with the difficulty of the task, or they lack the skill to go through reading without hating it.
Luckily for you, there are numerous genius ways to make your kids love reading, and here is how:
Early And Constant Exposure
Under-exposure to reading won’t turn your kids into rock-star readers in the future, unless they, themselves do so. Children that are exposed to books and reading from an early age are more likely to ‘love’ reading rather than ‘hate’ it. Also, studies have shown that kids who are exposed earlier to reading will grow up to become ‘frequent readers,’ which means they’ll be reading up to 7 times a week.
So, how can a parent expose their kids to books? There are several simple ways, like:
- Sharing a book with your child: this way, your child will be more interested and engaged in reading, which they will then perceive as a fun activity. This will also encourage positive interaction between the child and the parent.
- Reading aloud: according to the Parents article, reading aloud encourages both educational and social values in your child. Reading aloud will allow you to create time for your kids, that they will associate with love and coziness. Moreover, this type of reading will encourage your child to think about the book, discuss it with you, and it is also the best way to increase your child’s IQ, as well as the love for reading.
- Stash books everywhere: surround your kids with books. Start buying books as toys, or instead of toys, and you will soon see your children get excited over new books on the shelves. Speaking of shelves, try creating a small library for your children within their room. This way they will become accustomed to libraries and books as their natural surroundings.
Make Reading Fun
One of the main reasons why kids ‘hate’ reading is that it’s no fun for them. Kids feel the need to be entertained by something and not bothered by words and complicated sentences. So, in order to draw their attention to reading, you as a parent need to make reading a blast for your children. According to Jennifer Sikora, by making serious activities and tasks seem like a fun game, your child will also grow up to be more responsible and confident in their careers. Here is how to do it:
- Bring books and characters to life: In order for your child to turn hate into love when it comes to reading, you need to start encouraging their imagination. For example, if you are reading to your child a book about stars, then take your child to a museum or a planetarium, and even to the outskirts of the city where the sky is clear, so they can connect the book to the real world. Also, don’t forget to keep the book characters alive; let your kids associate the book characters with people from their lives, or simply try to reenact situations and characters from the book as well.
- Start a ‘reading chocolate’ club: This means that each reading session, your kids will be allowed to nibble some chocolate while they read. This way, they will look forward to the reading sessions, guaranteed.
- Let your kids retell the stories to your friends and other family members: This way your kids will not only develop an interest in reading, but they will also start developing their speech and presentation skills, maybe even acting and singing abilities too. Make this a regular event in your home, and maybe your kids will be the future of singing and acting.
- Let your kids choose the books and the titles: this will enable them to develop a sense of what they like to read. Once that sense settles, reading will become a regular thing to do for them, since they are reading books they choose, after all. Later on, you can encourage them to try reading some new genres and more difficult books as well.
Audiobooks and ebooks seem like an excellent replacement of the regular, physical books. Moreover, kids nowadays seem to be able to handle gadgets and technology from an early age, so why not just combine these two. Well, by letting your kids read a book on a tablet, or listen to an audiobook on a smartphone, you can be sure they will be doing anything but that.
Even though it may seem fun to let your kids use technology to develop an interest in reading, this way, they will only generate interest in online games, social media and other shenanigans that are far from reading. Moreover, by not allowing your children to read using gadgets, you will teach them that physical books are a form of relaxing, far from all the technology around them.