Don't hate me because my kids read

2017-02-01T14:50:19+00:00January 16th, 2011|Categories: Reluctant Readers|Tags: |4 Comments

So I admit it. It makes me more than a little envious when a friend of mine ‘complains’ about how much her 11-year old son loves reading, how he’s just tearing through books faster than she can buy them for him. Big books, too. 500-page books that even I might gawk at.


“I catch him reading under the covers at 10pm. It’s supposed to be lights out at 9!”

“He made us late for school this morning because he was reading at breakfast!”

I listen, and try to sound like it would drive me bananas, too. Meanwhile, I’m secretly seeing green, wishing it would rub off on my own boys, even just a tiny bit. Hey, I’d take a tardy notice (or two!) from a teacher if it means my boys are so stuck into their books I can’t get them moving…

But then, I look at the progress we’ve made this past year. My 2 reluctant readers *have* come a long way. They’ve both discovered a couple of authors they love. My eldest found Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson series, and read them all. He has also read the first Maximum Ride novel by James Patterson, and his eagerly waiting the sequel to become available at the local library.

My younger son loved Diary of a Wimpy Kid and has read them all. He is now reading Harry Potter, and is on book 2. It’s slow progress, but I am determined not to count number of books or pages, although every once in a while I catch myself glancing at their page numbers to see if they’re actually moving along.

I *loved* to read as a child. I would spend hours on a weekend just tearing through my books. I was that kid that would read under the covers until way past my bedtime, bring my book to the breakfast table, make my family late.

I somehow don’t think that will ever be my boys, and that’s ok. But I do want them growing up appreciating being able to spend quiet time with a great book. And not just because I make them do it, or ASK THEM REALLY NICELY. We’ll get there. We ARE getting there.

But I’m still far from that point where I’m complaining about their reading time. If you ever hear me doing so, please remind me of this post.

If you ever hear me say this…

“He won’t get his nose out of that book! All I want to do is play Guitar Hero with him, but he won’t stop reading!”

…just know that secretly, I’ll be jumping up and down and squealing “Victory!!!!!!!!!!!”.

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Reading Rewards
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  1. Natalie Barcelo January 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    The amount of reading does not seam to mean better grades in written French… Maybe speed-reading does not allow the brain to register the words more than first-last letters & size, not actual correct spelling, grammar, etc… and reading at a more normal speed does ;o)

  2. Jessi E. March 22, 2011 at 1:16 am - Reply

    I don’t know this person, so I can’t really say – but it sounds like this is bragging in an subtle way. Unless she herself hates reading, I think it’s just a strategy to put the attention on her kid whether she realizes she is doing it or not.

    I think you are doing the best thing for your kids by encouraging them to read. Also, even if they never become fanatic readers, it doesn’t mean that you have failed as a parent. I am a reading junkie, and the statement about someone reading too much was probably true of me as a kid. My husband, the mechanical technical genius that he is, had to be forced to read. He reads just fine now, but getting him to do it was like pulling teeth..

    I think it’s okay either way. Sorry about this long post!

    • Michelle Skamene March 22, 2011 at 1:40 am - Reply

      Thanks for your comments, Jessi! I was a reading junkie too. 🙂 I am realizing that a passion for reading is something you cannot force. But helping the kids find books they’ll enjoy (a lot more trial and error than I ever seem to remember myself), giving them the time to read in their busy schedules, and making the home one that obviously values books and reading is slowly helping and we’re well on our way. I’m so glad you stopped by, thank you so much!

      • Jessi E. March 22, 2011 at 2:54 am - Reply

        It’s one of my favorite things ever when I help a kid find something they enjoy reading!

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