Why Children Hate Reading (And What to Do About It)

Why Children Hate Reading (And What to Do About It)

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Although there are kids who find it difficult to read, the real problem comes in when the child can read but hates sitting down to read a few pages of the book. Nowadays, it seems almost impossible to see kids having favorite book characters and coming up with their own creative stories.

Why Do Children Not Like Reading

There are numerous distractions, including the television and boring school worksheets, that can make children reluctant to read. This will not only prevent them from developing the necessary vocabulary skills but deprives them of an abundance of knowledge as well. 

While many people prefer to blame parents for this, I believe we are just avoiding the root cause by diverting our attention to making excuses. Here’s a clear-cut guide that delves deep down into the main reason why children hate reading and what you can do to make a book lover.

So, let’s get started!

Why Do Children Not Like Reading

From medical issues to simply despising reading that is making the children hate reading. Here are some of the reasons worth noting: 


Oftentimes when children appear to hate reading, they have little confidence in their reading abilities. This could be because of the past experiences they’ve had, peer pressure or perhaps they simply find it difficult to connect words. Here, they tend to avoid reading to escape from all of the embarrassment and the risk of failing to read a few words.


If you think about it, the times aren’t the same anymore, where the only way to get away from school was to grab onto their favorite book, slide in a torch, and read under the sheets all night. Nowadays, kids have devices and other interesting videos that can present the same stories in a more entertaining and easier way. As a result, they think of reading as a chore and would rather throw the trash out than pick up a book to read. 

The fear of being left behind

This is especially common when kids have their peers read faster than they do. This adds a competitive factor and the fear of failure and makes the child avoid reading in the first place. 

What to do when your child refuses to read?

The first thing you need to do to make your child read is to find out their hurdle. Why can’t they sit down to read? Do they barely talk about their class fellows, are they confusing b’s and d’s even after grade 1, and whether they complain about stomach aches and other health problems before going to school? 

If your child does any of these, give the librarian a visit and everything you want to know about your child’s reading abilities. This includes asking for the material they read, is your child able to discuss it with others, and ask for any other indications that can give away the root cause of the problem. 

Make it part of their routine 

The point here is to show them that reading is part of their lifestyle rather than something they do as a favor to the school or to you. Show how much you enjoy reading these books and perhaps share a few funny stories to encourage them to do so. To ignite the creative flair within your kids, make up riddles and let them solve them by reading the book. 

You can also ask them to create their own interesting stories to keep them reading more. Remember to pay attention to each book as you focus on remembering and understanding the concept of each of the stories rather than focusing on the quantity. 

Once they have shown little interest, make it a part of their daily routine by allocating specific time to reading for the whole family to make it harder to resist.

Start small

To help your kid truly indulge herself in reading, you need to set out their foundation clearly and ensure they are reading for its enjoyment. This is especially important to give them their own space and speed and let them make as many mistakes as possible. They will help eliminate the fear. 

Later, pick a topic, character, or animal to read about. If your girl likes unicorns, start with a unicorn book and let her truly understand each part of it. You can tend to move on to a short pie of writing in the newspaper, an article, or anything you can find about unicorns on the web. The fact that you are starting with your favorite character, will make it generate curiosity and help her get into reading.  You can also discuss different parts of the books to encourage her to read and interact more. Remember, you never have to show that your kid hates reading. 


Practice shared reading

This is known to be one of the best ways to get your child into reading. Start off with an easy-to-read short book and take turns reading it. You can either distribute the chapters or pages which you both can read alternatively. 

This underappreciated technique can make your child engage in the reading and make it more enjoyable. However, the type of book and how much you will read can also depend on your child’s needs and age.


Should you award your children for reading?

The answer to this isn’t as simple as you may think. Sure, awarding your kids by paying or other delicious incentives can give them a head start to your kids and develop a love for reading. However. If we look at the bigger picture here, your child will be motivated to finish the book rather than enjoy the process and genuinely develop a love and passion for books. 

Offering a reward will divert away from their interest of the book to looking forward to the reward that they will be getting after finishing the book. This will lead them to find more ways to finish the book quicker rather than truly indulge themselves in the imaginary world and picture each moment of it.

As for the long-term, you will not see the child developing love for literature but rather for the reward you will be offering to limit them. Thus, the best way to help children to start loving reading is to show them the importance of it and how much you enjoy reading as well. 

As they said, the environment is the best educator. Try creating an environment full of books where you and your entire family will have a set time for reading and engaging in its content and interesting stories. 

At what age should a child read fluently?

Depending on your child, some kids can read by the age of 6 or 7. You can also find children starting at 6 or 7. Whatever it is, your child must be able to read fluently by second or third grade. 

Some kids also have a head start but will eventually fail in school. Remember never to force your child to read as this will come in the way of your child’s interest in learning. As a general rule of thumb, children who truly enjoy reading are likely to be better in school. 

Once your kid begins elementary school, you start doing extra activities to develop their love for reading and help them accelerate this process.

Best books for children who don’t like reading

Now that you know how to make your kid fall in love with reading, here are some easy-to-read, enjoyable books that can make this process a little easier. 


  1. ‘Wolfman,’ by Michael Rosen

'Wolfman,' by Michael Rosen


This book is excellent for children as young as 3. The text in the book is written with special easy-to-read writing to help your child distinguish between the letters. The author made sure to write this story in a fun and humorous way, along with a surprising twist to ensure your child stays engaged and makes it impossible to keep it down.

  1. Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, by Jon Scieszka

 Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, by Jon Scieszka


Who doesn’t know about Frain Einstein, right? This kid-genius and inventor loves how the world works by creating extraordinary items using household contraptions using part science and part imaginable to grab your child’s attention. 

Some of Frank Einstein’s inventions include the lightning storm and a flash of electricity to bring words to life. Not only is this book idea for kids who hate reading can plant a seed of imagination and creativity in your kid to keep them wondering about this book all night long. 

  1. The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer Holm

The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer Holm


We know how science can change the world, but in this way, that’s something you need to read to understand. The Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change, but not a single day passes that she doesn’t encounter highly bizarre acts. She misses her old life, her old best friend, and everything in between. Suddenly. A strange boy shows up who acts a lot like her Grandpa, Melvin. Did her immorality-obsessed Grandpa really crack the code to eternal youth?

Get your kid to enjoy such suspenseful stories to keep her interested and make her wonder what will happen next with every page. 

Read More: 10 Best Children’s Books For Early Readers

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Get Notified For Latest Blog posts

Be the first one to know all the latest book reviews, summaries, and guides.