Thursday, November 12, 2009


How do you get your child to read when they don't want to?

At some point as parents we face this issue, especially as our children grow up. Often the situation results in frustration, argument and no results.

What to do?

I decided that the simple way to deal with it is to let go. What I did is I decided to show my son that I love to read. Children often learn from imitation and as parents we are their role models. We are the ones who set an example to our kids and the ones who model the right behaviour. Do you think that begging your child will make him read? I noticed that it gave me worst results. My son is the kind of kid that needs someone to sit with him, he won't read on his own, even though he is big now. He loves to have attention and quality time. I rather sit with him when I can and read with him rather than leave him by himself and not have him read.

Back to modeling the behaviour. Once a child see that you read regularly, at some point he might want to do it as well. For instance, I noticed that when my husband watches TV a lot, my son will do the same. Well that is a not a desired behaviour we want, but it is just an example to illustrate the power of imitation.

Last night my daughter asked me to read her a book before going to sleep, and almost every evening she wants me to read her a book. My daughter is still small and can't read by herself yet. My son was not fully asleep and after I finished reading to my daughter, he surprised me by expressing the desire to read a book. He sat there for half an hour and read, something he didn't do before. To my surprise he even read by himself. OOf! finally! A sigh of relief!

My opinion is that you just have to find a subtle gentle way to encourage children to read. Letting go and accepting a situation is the most powerful way that I found works well. It might sometimes take time, but it is worth while because it gets a quality result rather than a forced result. While reading this statement you might feel that you are being lenient, but not at all, it is rather being a better parent.

What do you think? What are methods you have tried and found worked for you? I would love to hear from you.

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