Tips to Encourage Your Child to Read More

Studies show what common sense tells us: the more kids read, the better they read and the more pleasure they get out of reading. But what about children who read very little? If this is the case with your child, you need to know why your child doesn’t like or want to read so you can decide what will work best in motivating your child to discover or rediscover how much fun reading can be.

Here are some suggestions to help overcome resistance to reading:

  • Expose your child to reading material related to their interests; use their interests and hobbies as starting points
  • Help them rearrange their schedules to make more time for reading
  • If your child is having a hard time reading, talk with his or her reading teacher. They will help you determine if your child may have a learning disability; and they can point you to interesting books and materials written at a level that matches your child’s reading ability.
  • Don’t nag about the value of reading and don’t bribe your child with a reward for reading.
  • Leave all sorts of reading materials including books, magazines, and colorful catalogs in conspicuous places around your home
  • Notice what attracts your children’s attention, even if they only look at the pictures. Then build on that interest; read a short selection aloud, or simply bring home more information on the same subject.
  • Let your children see you reading for pleasure in your spare time.
  • Take your children to the library regularly. Explore the children’s section together. Ask a librarian to suggest books and magazines your children might enjoy.
  • Present reading as an activity with a purpose—a way to gather useful information for, say, making paper airplanes, identifying a doll or stamp in your child’s collection, or planning a family trip.
  • Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters. Older children enjoy showing off their skills to an admiring audience.
  • Play games that are reading-related. Check your closet for spelling games played with letter tiles or dice, or board games that require players to read spaces, cards, and directions.
  • Perhaps over dinner, while you’re running errands, or in another informal setting, share your reactions to things you read, and encourage your children to do likewise.
  • Set aside a regular time for reading in your family, independent of schoolwork—the 20 minutes before lights out, just after dinner, or whatever fits into your household schedule. As little as 10 minutes of free reading a day can help improve your child’s skills and habits.
  • Encourage your child to read aloud to you an exciting passage in a book, an interesting tidbit in the newspaper, or a joke in a joke book. When children read aloud, don’t feel they have to get every word right. Even good readers skip or mispronounce words now and then.
  • On gift-giving occasions, give books and magazines based on your child’s current interests.
  • Not all reading takes place between the covers of a book. What about menus, road signs, food labels, and sheet music? Take advantage of countless spur-of-the-moment opportunities for reading during the course of your family’s busy day.

 Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping to improve the study, reading and cognitive skills of clients of all ages. Find out more about Optiminds brain fitness programs and cognitive skills training by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or email us at: And be sure to visit our website at



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