Does He Hate to Read?

Boy reading with flashlight

Boy reading with flashlight

Are you worried because he isn't reading yet?

Or maybe he doesn't read the way you think he should? 

You aren’t alone.

Recently, a dad told me he was worried because, “My son is 5 and he isn’t reading yet…”

I was dismayed to hear this concern... what have we done to our kids by pushing the expectation of reading down into the preschool years?

Age 5 is when he should be playing and figuring out social relationships, NOT sitting with a book and laboring over letters and numbers.

And yes, I know, some young children pick up reading early and read voraciously. They are the exception.

Other kids should not be pushed into this early reading "phenomenon." Boys, especially, become a focus of this "he isn't reading yet" worry from parents and teachers.

Many boys become readers later than many girls - often as late as 3rd or 4th grade.

With LITERACY being the key skill to life-long academic and financial success - we want to encourage boys to become readers but they often don't feel like they are 'real' readers because they don't read like many of the girls in their class (sitting still, reading a chapter book).

We need to know how to approach reading from a "boy's-eye view." [Which might be tough for moms to relate to.]

There are some fundamental reasons why your boy resists reading but when you understand reading "his way" - you'll know how to get him engaged and excited about reading.

Boys are PHYSICAL.

He needs to move to process what he is learning. He wants to touch things, act out storylines and characters, the more active and adventurous his reading experience, the better.

Boys are VISUAL.

NOT verbal – all those words may overwhelm his brain. Find graphic novels, comic books and shorter stories that have lots of white space on the page to entice his visual system and keep him interested and engaged. Magazines, catalogs, and instruction manuals are also good choices.

MEN are crucial to your son seeing himself as a reader.

Make sure he sees Dad and other men in his life reading. Encourage men to share with him what their purpose for reading is: pleasure? to learn something new? directions from a manual?  

Armed with a new perspective about boys and reading, you'll be able to relax and trust that he will be a reader - on his own timeline.

Pushing him is unproductive and stressful for everyone!


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