Would your child rather empty the dishwasher or fold laundry instead of reading a book? Do you have to beg your child to sit down and read—for school or pleasure? When you see other kids with their noses in books or ebooks, do you wonder why you never see your own children doing the same? It’s hard to know how to react when your child hates reading, and even harder to figure out how to motivate children to read.
First and foremost, determine whether your child can read. No, you don’t need to take him or her to a reading specialist yet. Just ask your child to read to you.
“Would you keep me company while I sort laundry by reading me an article that interests you from a newspaper or your phone.”
If the child refuses to do so, you may want to sit them down and ask to read. The child should be reading out loud while you are looking at the text. Make sure they are not skipping or adding words. If reading is labored and your child makes a lot of mistakes I recommend that you talk to a reading specialist like myself ASAP. Why? Reading is at the core of intelligence and self-esteem. Reading well is a part of their future success and if you start they will not remember that remember that reading was once boring and hard.
If your child CAN read, but never does, try this:
1)Read out loud to your child. Reading out loud is an often-overlooked and underappreciated technique for engaging reluctant readers. Most kids want to spend time with their parents, but once children reach seven or eight years old, many parents don’t view reading together as an option; they think that’s reserved for preschool or early elementary school days.
For the ideal reading experience, choose texts that are rich, engaging and sure to lead to discussion.
2) Leverage late nights.
Kids love to stay up late. Tell them that they can stay up as late as they want to, as long as they are reading. Now reading as a magic activity that allows them to do what they want.
3) Leverage their hobby.
“I know you like baseball. Here’s the book of Hall-of-Famers.”
Never pay your kids for reading or homework, instead, celebrate with them, when they finish a book.