Why Children Hate to Read

Carol Roach By Carol Roach, 23rd Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Kids

It’s a parent’s nightmare, it is homework time and your children just refuse to read.


What could be causing this outright refusal to read? The founder and executive director of the National Reading Styles Institute, Dr. Marie Carbo is often asked why children hate to read. She maintains that being able to read well at a young age will ensure a successful reading outcome throughout life.

Psychology studies

Psychological studies have shown that children who become adults who do not read very well are less successful in life than their peers.

Linda Shohet, a former Montreal english teacher launched the Center for Literacy of situated at Montreal’s Dawson College. The project was designed as an offshoot of the Literacy Across the Curriculum, another Dawson College Program.

Shohet says, that “literacy touches many areas: education, health, aging, disabilities, poverty, even the justice system, since it's estimated that up to 75 percent of people who are incarcerated may have literacy problems.”

Why do children hate to read so much?

Of course we can break the reasons why children hate to read down to both medical and psychological factors:


They may have difficulty seeing the text and need glasses. Or they may have an organic brain disorder.


There may be a developmental or learning disability such being mentally challenged or they may have a learning disability such as dyslexia making it extremely difficult to read.


There are many reasons why a child refuses to read. Children with low self-esteem will not want to read in public fearing that they are not good enough.
In turn, they might be severely chastised or ridiculed by some parents when they make a mistake while reading.


They may feel embarrassed to read out loud which is also related to self-esteem. Some kids will say they don’t like the sound of their voices. They may compare themselves to better readers and feel they are not as good. This may not even be the case. They may be just as good as the other readers. Only, they just fail to see it.

Dr. Carbo states that much focus is placed on children who cannot read well. This includes children who have a medical condition preventing them from reading successfully. However, a growing concern in America is that there are children who do read well, but just refuse to do it. She says these kids simply get turned off.

Other psychological factors

Dr. Carbo states that kids simply are distracted. In the past there were less distractions. Today there is TV, video games, and so on, which can take them away from reading.
They also get bored with reading and once children lose interest in reading it is hard to get them back on board. Some of this boredom can be attributed to the dullness of the classroom reading assignments which have very little to do with the lives of the students who are reading them.

Lack of practice

If children are not motivated to read they will not practice. Dr. Carbo maintains that motivation decreases with age. Even high school students who are good readers can feel like they are climbing a mountain when they have to read a chapter from a book. Without practice students will not develop the required skills and ease of reading. They will not read fast and later on in life this will also affect their university studies when an enormous amount reading is requires in many disciplines. The ability to read well and comprehend what is read is also crucial for adults in the work environment, social environment, and at home.


If you find that your child is struggling with school material and age appropriate material from the library you can ask the librarian to point out age appropriate material. Or, if your child is reversing letters such as bs and ds it may very well be a physical reason. Make an appointment with the school and your child’s pediatrician to further investigate the problem.

If your child complains of physical ailments such as stomach cramps when trying to read or in anticipation of reading, there can be a psychological reason behind the refusal to read.


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Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Harris Mungai
23rd Jan 2015 (#)

Thank you very much Carol for this much-needed information for those of us with children who hate this exercise with a passion,very helpful.

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author avatar Utah Jay
23rd Jan 2015 (#)

I remember hating to read. My parents should of read this. Thanks Carol.

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author avatar Retired
23rd Jan 2015 (#)

Motivation is the key to this problem. If a child wants to read, they will read.

One problem is that parents have abandoned the habit of previous generations which was to read their child a bedtime story - every night. This gives the child the idea that interesting things happen in books, and they soon want to see for themselves what it is that the parent is reading from. If the book is well illustrated, the child can absorb the pictures while the parent reads, and attention will soon focus on the words as well as the pictures. When the child starts asking for more, and the parent encourages them to work out for themselves what the words sound like, then you've got them hooked!

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author avatar viewgreen
23rd Jan 2015 (#)

Very educating all the information in this wonderful article. Sure, this could be an inspiration to all parents. Thank you for sharing this great article.

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