In order to promote any real sustainable success in the future, it is imperative to learn to read now. Unfortunately, getting our children to realize this aspect is worse than having teeth pulled without Novocain. While some parents relish in the fact that they have children that love to read, what is there to do when your children absolutely refuse to engage in a book?
1. …or Else – With many children, getting them to do what you want is all about word structure. You may not realize it, but children can have a profound difference of behavior just by you changing a few words around. Instead of “Read your book or you won’t get desert tonight,” why not try a few days of “Read your book and you’ll get desert tonight.” Do you see the difference between these two? Instead of an ultimatum, you’ve provided the child with the power to control his or her own future. Ultimatums do not work nearly as well as many adults may think. Most people will do the exact opposite in order to prove a point. Instead of relying on the “or else” statements, provide more of an option for children.
2. Scheduled Reading Times – Get your children into the habit of reading during scheduled times. Some families will develop a routine that involves no video games or computer time until the children have read for a certain amount of time. This may work for some households, but what if you have a child that would rather not play video games if it meant reading for 20 minutes? This is why a permanent set schedule is more ideal. It provides you with quiet time while giving the child time to read without the distraction of a reward or a punishment.
3. Movies to Books – Many movies have a book version that is available which usually have far more detail than what is on the big screen. Why not make it a fun contest to find the extra facts in the book compared to the movie? If you use movies that the child likes, he or she is already interested in the plot. Have him or her try to find all of the scenes that were deleted from the motion picture and tell you about them. This can show that you are interested in the child’s progression – and a child loves involvement by the parent whether they admit it or not.
4. More Reading from You – Children will learn many of their behaviors and mannerisms from you. How can you really expect a child to do something you wouldn’t do yourself? It is believed by many that in households that have at least one avid reading parent the children are less likely to struggle when it comes time to read. If you want to promote reading in the household, why not make it a habit where everyone in the house reads as a family? Each can have his or her own material and the family can spend a few hours per week together, which could promote further intriguing discussions as well.
It can be difficult to engage a child to read more books. Some children refuse to read simply because of poor eye-sight or learning problems. They may be self-conscious about failing or unable to understand why some kids can read and they can’t. Do everything you can to help your child understand how reading can change his or her life and provide a conducive environment.