5 Simple Ways to Make Kids Love Reading

5 Simple Ways to Make Kids Love Reading Picture

I am the mom to an avid reader.

And by avid, I mean he reads so much it’s annoying.

Nearly every weeknight, the kid gets in trouble for not going to bed when he’s supposed to because he’s got his nose shoved in a book.  He’s not doing it to defy me (and if he was, I couldn’t even complain!  My kid reads to defy me, poor me!), he just gets engrossed.  And, loses track of the time. 

I get it.  I’ve been there.

But, I’ve also been there to drag him out of bed in the morning and scream about him being late for school the next day too.  So, forgive me if his infatuation with the written word isn’t quite as thrilling to me any longer.

But, how did we get here?

How did I become the mom of a kid who’d rather be water boarded than go to bed without reading a few chapters?

5 Simple Ways to Spark a Love of Reading in Children

1.  Be a good role model.  I’ve read over 50 books this year.  It’s something I do to relax and I can’t seem to go even one day without a book in my queue.  I even have my own book club (yeah, girl, join that!) and I spend a ridiculous amount of cash on books, including a handsome library fine that never seems to get paid off.  If I gave up reading, I’d have a Mariah Carey-esque shoe closet I’m sure.  Of course, I’d also go insane and wouldn’t have anywhere to wear them other than the nut shop.  The Dudes see this and they know that getting lost in a good book is a perfectly fine way to avoid folding laundry spend an afternoon.

2.  Have plenty of books on hand.  When I was in graduate school (for education, in case you need proof that I sorta know what I’m talking about here), I recall one of our professors sharing a statistic with us.  Something about how kids with over 100 books in their home tend to be better readers than kids with fewer.  Well, duh.  You can’t learn to love reading if there are no books around to hug!

3.  Read to them.  Kids love hearing a good story.  I hated books and reading and everything they stood for until I was in Mrs. Ott’s fourth grade class and she read aloud The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  I went to school each day solely to hear her get down with that book.  When we finished, I checked out every book in the series from our school library and read them under the covers each night in my room (maybe that’s where my kid gets it!).  I’ve not stopped loving books since.

4.  Watch a movie.  My guys seriously get into books that have been adapted to film.  We make it a point to read a book before the movie version comes out because we all love seeing how our imagination plays out on screen.  But, it can work the other way too.  Have a kid who isn’t much of a reader, but loves TV?  Find the book version of some of their favorite shows to test out.  Tons of TV shows have complimentary book series out now so it’s not super hard to do.


5.  Never use reading as a punishment.  I know.  It’s tempting to yell, “GO TO YOUR ROOM AND READ!”  when they get rowdy, but reading should never be used as a form of punishment.  Having books to read is a privilege and it’s something kids should be taught to not only enjoy, but appreciate.  Instead of sending them to time out with a book, bore them in time out by letting them stare at the wall, and then reward their time-out compliance with a story.  Climbing into mom’s lap, snuggled up with a good book, is an awesome reward, right?!

What do you think?

5 Simple Ways to Make Kids Love Reading

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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  1. My husband hates reading for some reason that is just unfathomable to me since I spent every Friday night of my high school existence curled up with a good book. Consequently I am terrified that our children will take after their dad instead of their totally more awesome mom. Your tips give me hope that I won’t end up facing my worst fear and raise a bunch of illiterate kids who would rather play outside with bugs and sports stuff than sit indoors and read for hours in relative silence. Also, I was totally one of those kids who stayed up late every night with a book and flashlight hiding under the blankets.

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