MY 10-YEAR-OLD CHILD DOES NOT LIKE READING OR DOING HOMEWORK AND IT IS WORRYING ME. HOW CAN I HELP HIM LOVE BOOKS?
Encouraging your child to develop good study habits at an early age is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Demonstrating to your child the value of education will help him love school and open a career path that could bring him happiness in future.
Begin introducing your child to ‘academic’ activities such as reading books, drawing/painting, learning simple arithmetic, engaging in basic grammar exercises and learning new vocabulary words. Feel free to pick up toys, games, flash cards, and other learning materials for your child. Don’t hand him a book or homework and walk away. Even if he is capable of doing it on his own, it’s more fun for him if he is in your company because naturally children love getting attention from their parents. When the child begins to develop interest and independence, start to withdraw a bit but while monitoring his consistence from a small distance.
Also negotiate work time with your child. If he has a good reason to postpone homework, listen to him but also tell him why he should do it in time. You can reach a consensus that will leave both of you happy. Reward good behaviour with freedom to play with friends or surprise him with a present. The other form of motivation is by you being a role model. Let your child see you reading books and preparing for work in time. Don’t get frustrated if your child is uncooperative because some need time to adjust.
The writer is a teacher and counsellor
Sorry Dinah about your child’s lack of interest in reading but I suggest you look at the kind of books you give your child to read. It could be that the books are too complicated for your son to comprehend. Try getting him easier books to read.
The Ibo say: “When mother cow is eating, the young ones are watching.” Similarly, start reading books and your child will do as you do.
Rev. Jackline Iribagiza
Tell your child the value of reading books at a young age. Once he understands the importance of being informed, his attitude will change completely.
What kind of books are you giving your child to read? Parents have a tendency of giving their children books that do not match with their level of understanding. First scrutinise all the material he reads.
I’m sorry to say but I think the problem is with you the parents. Children always learn the culture that has been passed to them by their parents and in this case reading is not one of them. But it is not too late to change that.