Your child hates reading. Fact.They have dyslexia which means they really hate reading. Fact.
So, you should leave them alone and not bother with this, after all it leads to lots of fights between you and everyone ends up in a bad mood? No, no, no, there are lots of reasons not to give up!
Reading expands your knowledge. Dr Seuss ( author of Cat in the Hat and other funny stories) said “ The more you read, the more you’ll know”. He was right and it can also stimulate curiosity in your child – they may want to know more about certain subjects.
Reading expands your vocabulary – enormously. It is thought that your child is exposed to 50% more words in a book than they are by watching TV or relying on conversation.
It can boost your brain power and create new neural pathways to help with memory ( which is a key issue for our dyslexic children).
So, you now have some good reasons to persist with getting your child to read. So, how can you stop your living room from turning into a battlefield?
Well, according to recent research from Scholastic the best thing you can do to encourage them to read is to read aloud to your child - don't stop just because they are getting older and can do some reading for themselves.Children commented that it was their ‘special time’ with their parents and that they loved it when parents read in a ‘very animated way’. Over 40% of children didn’t want their parents to stop reading aloud to them when they did - so the strong message here is keep going, even if other parents have stopped. If your child struggles with reading, then just having you read aloud to them and getting them to follow the words is a good way to get them to reap lots of enjoyment and will encourage them to keep persisting with overcoming their own reading difficulties.
Children interviewed in the Scholastic research also reported that ‘ my favourite books are the ones I have picked out for myself’. This is something to bear in mind when you are out choosing books to read. Allowing your child autonomy in his/her choice will increase their motivation. If you think it is too hard for them, then taking turns to read it aloud together will ensure that the book is completed successfully and stays fun.
The research also points out that children, aged 12-17, who said they enjoyed reading and read for fun had parents who put strategies in place for regular reading time. For example, they ensured that time was put aside each day for their child to read (or for them to read together). The parents read the same book as their child so that they could talk about it and share their enjoyment. When your child is older you may also experience the reward of having them recommend a book for you to read that they have just read and enjoyed themselves. Parents also rewarded their child for reading and restricted their child’s time on screens such as TV and X box.
These are all ideas that everyone can put into practice, even when you have the additional challenge of Dyslexia.Your homes only become a battlefield if your child feels pressured to read or if you lose patience with them. Reading aloud takes away this stress from both of you; taking turns to read can also be great fun and a good motivator for reluctant readers. Parents really can be the game changers and help their children to enjoy reading , who, in turn, go on to reap the academic rewards of this.
I help parents make learning less frustrating and more successful for their dyslexic children. If you would like more support then please click here to join my free Facebook group.
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