20 Tips for Parents to Support a Reluctant Reader


October 20, 2021

Reluctant reader tips

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Does your child seem uninterested in reading even though they can read?  In this article, Patsy Lyons from Tara Book Company has 20 tips for parents to support your reluctant reader.

A ‘reluctant reader’ is a child who can read, but has little interest in reading regularly. Some children see reading as hard work and will only read when and what they have to. We, as parents, want our children to experience the joy of reading and ensure that they have the best advantages in their education.

Reading is a skill that needs to be practised. Children who read a lot have better comprehension, extensive vocabulary and vivid imaginations. They are better equipped to handle the volumes of reading they have to do in secondary school.

How to Help a Reluctant Reader

1. Lead by example. Let your child see you reading and enjoying the experience.

2. Know what interests them. Sport? Dogs? Humour? Adventure? Get books on these subjects.

3. Let them choose their own books, but steer them in the right direction.

4. Try books with short stories. Sometimes short stories on subjects they might find interesting such as Spies, Ghosts, War, Humour etc are easier to start with.

5. Leave joke books lying around. Anything that gets them reading!

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6. Don’t forget about educational and reference books. Children often enjoy facts, so choose books with good quality photographs.

7. Try non-fiction books with text broken up into small pockets. They can get through a lot of reading without realising it.

8. Choose graphic books. These appear easy but in fact require a high level of skill to link the text and pictures.

9. Encourage a change from series books. Children can get hooked into a series and will read nothing else, so encourage and gently nudge them on to similar books, not part of a series.

10. Comics make for fun reading! These might motivate your child enough to get them started.

11. Read to your child. Start with only one chapter each night, if they are “hooked” on the story they will want to read on when you’ve finished.

12. Build stamina. Keep moving your child on to more challenging books.


Our book scavenger hunt for kids is great fun – and you might find your kids get distracted by some reading while they are at it!

13. Talk about the books they’ve read or their favourite author. Encourage their interest by talking about the stories they liked or what they think of the author.

14. Make books appealing. Use ploys, try telling them a particular book is unsuitable, they’ll knock you over to get their hands on it.

15. Buy books with larger print. Larger print books and illustrations are not as daunting.

16. Movie books. If you know a particular movie is coming out try to read the book in advance

17. Choose well written books by established authors. A good starting point is award winners.

18. Pick simpler books that they can manage easily. They get great satisfaction from finishing a book.

19. Do not put pressure on them. You wouldn’t like someone constantly asking you what you’re reading or how you’re getting on with a particular book.

20. Be encouraging and notice small improvements.

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Like this? Share it with your network!

Published On: October 20th, 2021 / Categories: For Parents / Last Updated: February 2nd, 2023 / Tags: /

About the Author: Michelle

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Michelle is a Mum to 2 girls and co-founded Mykidstime.

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