How To Help Your Child Who Hates Reading

By: George Mears

For some kids, the joy of reading is evident from the moment they pick up their first book. For others, however, learning to read with comprehension and fluency can be frustrating and difficult, and it can lead to their resentment of an activity that should be fun. When reading becomes a chore for your child, it’s time to step in and help them find success so that they can enjoy the feeling of getting lost in a rich literary world. 

One of the best ways you can help is by helping your child find things he enjoys reading about. It can become boring and tiresome very quickly if the material is not something he’s interested in, so take trips to the library together to find some great picks.

Here are some more of the best ways you can help your child get into reading even when he says he hates it. 

Get some help

It can be frustrating to try and teach your child when you’re unsure of what his needs are, so consider hiring a tutor to help him find his strengths and weaknesses. You can find someone who will come to your home, or check out a local tutoring center that will allow your child to learn with other kids. Talk to your family to figure out what will work best for you.

Find activities that involve reading

Your child doesn’t have to read a book himself to get into them; check out your local library to find out if they have story time or music hour. Getting all his senses involved can really make a book come alive and make it that much more appealing.

Help him find what he likes

Try not to push your child to read what you want him to read. It can be tempting, especially if he needs to be learning about something specific for school, but if you really want to get him interested, the subject matter should be something that grabs his attention and makes him eager to learn more. If he’s into dinosaurs, check out every book on dinos you can find at the library. 

You can also look for alternative reading methods, such as comic books, graphic novels, E-readers, and technology, such as Leapfrog, which uses games to introduce kids to reading and math.

Encourage, encourage, encourage

Your child may be feeling like a failure because he’s not at the level his peers are at school, so he’ll need encouragement from you to keep going. Let him know that everyone has something they have to work on a little bit harder than everyone else, and that it’s okay. 

It’s possible that your child has an undiagnosed learning disability, so if things are still difficult after he’s put in a lot of work, consider taking him to a specialist to find out what you can do differently. You can also talk to his teacher to find out whether he’s displaying classic signs of dyslexia or another condition that makes reading more difficult. 

Minimize distractions

 When there are lots of distractions, such as tablets, fidget spinners, and television, your child won’t be as inclined to read. Minimize those distractions and help him stay focused by creating reading time in a quiet space. When he reads a passage and can tell you what happens in it, reward him with dessert or extra time on the tablet.  

Join in

Your child will be more apt to read if he sees you doing it, too. Even better, share story time together, or set aside time every night for a book before bed. Read it aloud first, then ask your child to read it to you. Saying the words out loud can help him with phonics and remembering what he just read.


Remember to try and stay patient. Don’t push your child; reading should be fun, and the minute it starts to feel like a chore, he’ll toss the book aside for something else. Share stories together and make reading a regular part of your day in order to help your child see it as something to love.