When your child says “reading is dumb”
A child who is having difficulty with reading or school sometimes may feel very alone in his struggle. Let him know that you are there to support him and ask how you can help.
What your child may be trying to tell you
- I’m angry that I struggle so much with reading.
- I don’t see the point in having to work so hard to learn how to read.
- I’m not interested in what I’m given to read.
How you can respond
- Acknowledge to your child that he does have to work hard at reading.
- Point out the power and practicality of reading in everyday life.
- Help your child find reading materials at his reading level that also interest him.
Encourage the child who struggles
Acknowledge to your child that he does have to work hard at reading
Reassure your child that it’s okay to feel angry and frustrated sometimes. But also caution him not to let his anger toward his learning difficulties and his struggles with reading limit him or become an excuse for giving up.
Point out the power and practicality of reading in everyday life
It is helpful for a child who is struggling with reading to understand the reward from all of his struggles. By mastering reading, his world will be full of opportunities, from the type of career he chooses to his ability to select an entrée off a restaurant menu. The ability to read enhances everyday experiences.
Help your child find reading materials at his reading level that also interest him
A child who finds reading to be challenging will be even more resistant to read if the subject matter is not appealing to him. It can be a huge challenge to find books at your child’s reading level that also interest him. Enlist the help of the reading specialist and other teachers at your child’s school. Consider other types of reading materials such as magazines and computer learning games. Ensure that your child is engaged in the selection process. Keep in mind that you and he can enjoy an interesting book beyond his current independent reading level if you read it aloud to him and then discuss it together.