And… your child has absolutely no desire to read.
To an extent, it’s difficult to blame them. Even as adults, we find it hard to resist the lure of gadgets that offer more ways to waste our time than we ever could have dreamt of as children. With screens, cartoons, apps, and the entire knowledge of human history easily tapped into on a device - why would a modern child want to pick up a book?
It might be difficult to understand if you read far and wide as a child. For you, books were a portal to your imagination; you can’t understand why your own child is struggling to find a love for something that came so naturally to you.
So - what are the options? Is there any way to peel your child back from the screens that are demanding their attention, and turn them to the simplest pleasure of them all? Perhaps there is…
It might work; you never know with kids! However, if you try and insist they put the phone or tablet down, then reading a book can quickly feel like a punishment. Reading is best when it’s encouraged, not when it’s insisted upon. If you want to offer incentives for reading - such as an extra 10 minutes watching their favorite TV show - then that’s very different, but don’t even make it a straight either/or. It’s perfectly possible for a child to have rounded pursuits that indulge both analog and digital forms of enjoyment.DO Let Them Try Different Styles and Genres
By the time your child is in their teens, they are old enough to have some idea of what they might like. Encourage them to scour sites like booksiren.com and read Amazon reviews to give them some inspiration for what they might like to try. You can check over their selections to ensure they are age-appropriate, but that aside, there’s no need for you to dictate what they should read.
DON’T Give Books As Gifts (Until They Are Asked For)
Instead, see books as an investment like clothes and shoes - things you are going to buy year round. If your budget isn’t going to stretch to that, then a library card is an easy solution that gives access to a wide amount of choice.
DO Encourage Your Kids To Talk About Books
It therefore makes sense to encourage them to talk about books. Read along with them, then discuss what you thought in the manner of a book club. If they don’t like the silence, then experiment with audio books to show them that books can be a group experience too. For some kids, sitting still and focusing on one thing alone for a long period of time is not going to be pleasurable, so bend your preferences around this.