If your child is showing little interest in reading, there is hope. Sometimes moms and dads have to get sneaky, but you can still turn your children into a readers, even if they are reluctant about it.
1. The Stay Up Later Bedtime Trick
Like most children, my kids hate bedtime. They whine and complain. They beg and try to negotiate staying up “just 10 more minutes PLEASE.” Their 8 O’clock bedtime ends up turning into 8:45-9:00 and I must confess, sometimes even later!
Here’s the trick. Announce bedtime about 45 minutes to an hour before their normal lights out. Then, I simply give them an option. I say It’s time for bed, now. Would you like lights out or would you like to stay up and read for a bit?
They will almost always choose to read for a bit. Anything to get out of going straight to bed. As a bonus I don’t have to beg or manipulate them into reading. They think it’s their idea and they grow to love their chance for a ‘later’ bedtime. They can choose whichever book they like and look at it however they like until I come in to kiss them goodnight and turn their lights out. Usually it only takes about 30 – 40 minutes until they are sleeping, before their actual bedtime at that. Of course, if they are too young to read, they pick a book and I stay and read it to them. Try it. It works!
2. Summer reading incentives.
Sign them up for a summer reading program at your local library. Almost every library in the county has a summer program set in place. Make a fun day of it. All children really want is your love and attention. Make it a mommy and me day. (Or daddy and me day, of course). Read a book together and talk about it. If you have older kids, read the same novel as them, it will give you some common ground for conversation.
3. Read the book before you can see the movie.
I find that more and more novels are being transformed onto the big screen. Tell them you will take them to see the movie if they read the book first. I love reading a book before going to see the movie. Make it standard practice in your household that if you want to go see a movie, you need to read the book first. They will soon realize how much better the book is and will grow to enjoy reading the book first. Books always go into more detail. The movie is great for putting the faces to the names.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”