Parent question: My child struggles with reading. What can I do to help?

Jan 29, 2013 by


Dr. Sally Goldberg

Parent Question:

“My son has been struggling with reading for quite some time now and I would like to know ways on how to boost his confidence. He is great at math and science etc, but the reading is his down fall. I know that he can do it. And he has the phonics and the tools for doing the reading. His teacher and his librarian are helping. How can I get him unstuck to be confident in himself? I think he is just scared that somebody would laugh at him.”

Dr. Sally Goldberg replies:

Thank you for your important question. I can understand your concern. While reading is important, it is also very tricky. As adults we all read to find out or just for fun. However, when it comes to asking children to read in school, teachers often forget how important those two kinds of motivation really are.

As a parent, you have a different kind of opportunity–choice. A great starting point is to do what you can to involve your son in reading for enjoyment. Once you are able to immerse him in reading for pleasure, he is likely to keep that momentum when he gets to the school setting.

Here are a few tricks of the trade:

*   Introduce your child to reading success in the oddest places. There is a lot of great information and many fun stories on all kinds of boxes and containers.

*   Ask your son about something he really enjoyed from a science lesson. Then google the subject for children and see what you can find. For many subjects there will be simple write-ups that your son will understand and enjoy.

*   Here’s my favorite. Be positive! Catch your child reading. School newsletters or other handouts sent home often work. As an opener you can ask your child to read you specific parts. Then, as often as you can, point out all the parts your son reads well. Use specific comments like, “You read every word. I love listening to you read. That was a hard word.”

The more pleasant experiences your child has with reading, the more likely he is to …keep on reading!

As they say, “Success breeds success!”

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