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Resistant readers and the parents who love them

Nichole Beaudry strives to capture the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments with her children. She earned her undergraduate degree in English from The University of Texas and her master’s in English from California State Un...

Turn your reluctant reader into a book lover

Not all children think they love reading and many kids would rather do anything but sit down with a book.

With a bit of help from their loving, determined parents, and some helpful tips and tricks, even the most resistant reader just might come around.

Play matchmaker

Matching your child with the right book is the best thing you can do to get them reading, but it can be tricky to find that one book that spurs a love of reading. Working from a book list is a great option because the bulk of the work is done for you.

ReadKiddoRead, a website created by popular author James Patterson, is a helpful resource for finding the right book for your child.

Drop Everything and Read has a great book list divided up by age of the reader.

If you have a son who hasn’t discovered the joy of reading, check out Guys Read, a site that breaks books into categories to match readers with books they’re sure to love. With a list of categories that includes robots, animals and action/adventure, your child will quickly find the perfect book.

Your kids might love these books that teach lessons in a fun way >>

Hand over the wheel

Give your child a gift card to a bookstore and allow him to wander the aisles and select his own books. Though it’s tempting to always choose for your child, allowing him the freedom to follow his own interests is also important.

Explore other options

If your child bristles when you hand him a book, try a kids’ magazine instead. National Geographic Kids, Highlights, Sports Illustrated Kids, Ranger Rick and American Girl are all great choices.

Reading is reading and if kids discover that words transport them, they’re more likely to give books a chance.

Go digital

A small study conducted by Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, a non-profit organization dedicated to understanding how children learn through digital media, found that children in the study preferred reading an e-book to a print book and that comprehension between the two formats was equal. Hand over your Kindle, Nook or iPad and see if that does the trick.

Supply a book and a timer

Build in some extra time for solo reading before lights out each night. Offer your child a book of his choice and set a timer for 15 minutes. He will see reading as a way to stay up just a bit later and that positive connection might do the trick.

Show them how it's done

Perhaps the best thing you can do for your reluctant reader is to show him through your own example that reading is fun. Kids notice everything, so let them witness you reading throughout the day and they'll likely want to copy you.

Keep the ball rolling

Be ready to replenish their reading supply, because once a child reads a book and loves it, it will be easy to keep him going. Reading may become a wonderful new habit, so be prepared for that day with a stash of great books.

It may take some time to show your child that reading can be fun, but by providing him with a supportive environment and some guidance, you may be surprised by just how much he comes to enjoy reading.

More on kids and reading

Top 15 books for preschoolers, kids and teens
Controversial children's books
SheKnows parenting awards: Books

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