Do you need to motivate your child to read? Some kids love to read and some avoid it at all costs, but reading is fundamental to building thoughtful, intelligent adults. You can find some of the many benefits to reading in The Importance of Reading Books by Rising Phoenix Press. If you have a child that loves to read, congratulations. This task will be so much easier. If not, read on for ways to help kids read based on their personality.
Motivating kids to read by personality
No matter what your child’s personality type, reading teaches them to use their cognitive and creative skills to imagine the words they read coming to life. Even if a child is reading about science, they imagine what planets or molecules look like and imagine a scientific process in action. The good news is that with the incredible number of subjects and means to read, nearly every child without reading difficulties and most with reading difficulties, can learn to read and love it.
Why kids don’t read
As a parent, you hear all the excuses to avoid reading. I’m tired. I’m hungry. My leg hurts. I’m thirsty. Reading is boring and so much more. Some kids struggle to sit still long enough to read. Others need engaging material to keep their interest. Still others need the proper environment. For others, they never see their parents read and don’t see the point. Below are several ideas to make daily reading more appealing for children who resist it, but the best tip to help all children is to read to them and to let them see their parents reading. That is the starting point to helping your child develop a life long love a reading.
Motivating the defiant child to read
This is perhaps the most difficult child to motivate to read if they dislike reading. The best tools to use with child are challenge and control. Unless the reading material is assigned, let the child pick out the material they want to read. Good teachers don’t care what children read, including magazines and comic books if the child reads willingly. Sometimes, picking material outside the “normal” parameters is exactly what the defiant needs, especially if their parent doesn’t exactly approve. The same applies to when and how they read. If they prefer to read standing at the kitchen table reading while mom and/or dad make dinner, listen patiently. If they want to read to a grandparent on video or to a pet, let them. As long as they read without a fight, you win the battle and the war. Another way to motivate this child to read is to challenge them to read an entire series like Captain Underpants, Ramona, Nate the Great, Nancy Drew, Judy Blume books, Guardians of Ga’Hoole, or Harry Potter. With Harry Potter or any of the series that have videos or movies, watch the corresponding movie after each book and challenge your child to find 10-20 differences in the book that aren’t in the movie.
Motivating the distracted child to read
Most distracted children can also hyper focus. Video games anyone? The keys to help this child read are content and environment. For the distracted child, reading aloud often helps them ignore other stimuli that normally distract them, but the environment needs to support that. Turn off TVs even in the other room Turn on classical music with no lyrics to drown out distracting background noise. Humorous content like The Wonky Donkey or any subject that the child loves to talk about is the best content to search out, and depending on age, the fewer pictures the better. If your distracted child prefers to talk rather than read, reading on video with a grandparent or another beloved adult can inspire them to share a favorite story with their favorite people.
Motivating the struggling child to read
Some children resist reading because it doesn’t come naturally to them. To motivate this child to read you need to think outside the box because none of the usual methods work with them. One of the best ways to motivate this child to read is to read to them as well as have them read to you. You can read one sentence of a book and have them read the next one or repeat the sentence you just read. Dr. Seuss books are great for this because they rhyme and read almost read like a song. That type of sing song repetition helps children remember new words better in the future. Speaking of songs, finding song lyrics to read as you sing can motivate your musically minded child to read because music can boost your child’s mood and memory at the same time. If your child has a favorite song, you can find the lyrics on Lyrics.com and read the lyrics as you sing together.
Need more help?
Maybe you’ve tried all these, and you child still resists reading. Then what? If you suspect your child’s resistance to reading has more to it than a dislike of reading, talk to your child’s teacher. If they are seeing similar patterns, you can work together to see if your child needs intervention or is just being stubborn. If you want to learn more about your child’s personality and how to relate to them better, check out the Moving Toward Better scheduling page to schedule your personality assessment or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an assessment for your child.