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DGD hates reading

(95 Posts)
CorneliaStreet Wed 13-May-20 07:32:00

This may be a wrong topic to post in, but I'd really appreciate your advice on how did you personally understand that you enjoy reading? What book was the one that took you away? How do I explain to my DGD (10) that reading is not about stumbling through the letters? She just enjoys the movies and she will never open the book even if she likes the movie based on it.

TerriBull Wed 13-May-20 07:46:52

I think most of us came from a generation where reading was a very important way of keeping yourself occupied. There was very little in the way of screen time, children's tv was limited to maybe an hour if that, can't quite remember. Going to the cinema was a special occasion treat and of course electronic gadgetry was a thing of the dim and distant future. Therefore there was a far greater onus on children amusing themselves. I was taken to the library and given books from a very early age, I always knew I liked reading as soon as I was able to read independently from about 5. At that age it was probably early Enid Blyton stuff "Magic Faraway Tree" and "The Noddy Books" as well as assorted fairy tales. All children are of their time, but it is regrettable that some children are not able to lose themselves in a book these days, my granddaughter does seem to enjoy reading, but regrettably my grandson would choose a screen over a book always. A grandparent can only encourage we are not with them all the time, it's up to the parents to imbue their children with a desire to read, and even if they do, there are so many distractions these days. Sadly a lot of people never pick up a book once they have left school.

Calendargirl Wed 13-May-20 07:51:56

From how you describe your GD, it doesn’t sound as though she enjoys reading or finds it easy, as you say she stumbles through the letters. That will make it hard work and not enjoyable.

Whereas watching a film is easy, you just sit there and the story unfolds without any effort on your part.

I’m not sure how to make it better for her, unless you try and engage her in a book that will hold her attention and not be too difficult to comprehend.

I love reading, you must miss so much if you don’t.

wildswan16 Wed 13-May-20 08:07:55

It isn't perhaps that she does not like to read, but that for her, it is very difficult.

Stop trying to get her to read books. Sneak reading into other situations, such as baking, magazines, articles about the music she likes etc. Ensure she is getting support from her teachers (difficult at present I know).

Some children just never like reading - it's just their nature. However, it is important that she does become as fluent as possible. Don't make it a battleground though.

One gran I knew used to "forget" her glasses so GC had to read the labels etc for her! Sneaky reading practice.

CorneliaStreet Wed 13-May-20 08:13:17

Oh, I might have been not really clear!
She can read perfectly fine, she just doesn't find it interesting. She likes visual content like games or movies, but when it comes to the books she says the lines of letters just look too boring and she can't understand what's so interesting about reading in general. They read books in her school and she is fine with all the reading materials, it's just that she hates reading because it seems boring for her. For example, she adores Harry Potter but she refuses to read the books cause they "don't have the effects and magic, do they?"

GrannyLaine Wed 13-May-20 08:14:11

CorneliaStreet its a tricky one isn't it? I don't know where my love of reading started but I've always been able to lose myself in a good book and I read every night before falling asleep. One of my AC never learned to love reading and its a source of great sorrow to me. Curiously, one of my DGS who is a similar age to your DGD has simply stopped enjoying reading for now. He has loved books all his life and has been read to since he was a little baby. Has it coincided with mobile phone use? I really don't know. What do others think?

H1954 Wed 13-May-20 08:15:16

I do not mean to be critical or unkind by this but could there be an underlying issue with you DGD? In the past I have heard of similar situations and the child in question was dyslexic.

Missfoodlove Wed 13-May-20 08:16:35

I have three AC, the oldest two read voraciously.
The youngest read books he had to read for school with the exception of Tin Tin comics.
It infuriated all of us!
After A levels he went to work in India for 6 months in a remote spot.
His sister had given him the novel Shantaram to read, it unlocked something!
He devoured it and then procured any book the missionary’s had.
He is now 26 and never without a book on the go.

aggie Wed 13-May-20 08:23:49

My lot were/are all different , some enjoy reading and get lost in a book , some can’t be bothered , my Mum was an infant teacher and she said to let them have access to everything , books , comics , magazines
Rupert Bear annuals were a great favourite , some read the script at the bottom of the page , others just the wee rhyme below the pictures . It didn’t matter , they were getting used to books
Grandchildren are the same , parents read , children follow , but there are at least two who find it boring !
One refuses to read more than her school books , her Mum does as already mentioned, gets her cooking and she reads and follows the recipe with enjoyment
As long as she is proficient I wouldn’t bother her

SirChenjin Wed 13-May-20 08:48:53

My three DC are like this - the older are in their early twenties and the youngest is 13. Both DH and I read to them every night for years and we are both avid readers but unfortunately gadgets have got in the way of them picking up a book for the same reasons as your DGC. I’ve now tried to reframe how I think of reading and rather than focusing on books I try and encourage them to read something - comics, magazine, fact books like the Guinness Book of World Records, anything that is meaningful to them. I have varying levels of success with that! My eldest did buy himself a Kindle a while back and has rediscovered reading to a small extent and hopefully that will continue. It’s very hard though, there’s a whole generation of children and young adults who have been acclimatised to fast paced, noisy films and video games with lots of colour and action - books do seem very dull and slow to many of them, and understandably so I suppose.

SirChenjin Wed 13-May-20 08:49:31

Where did my paragraphs go? confused

CathTheWise Wed 13-May-20 08:58:53

I don't know how did I become a book worm, reading just was very interesting for me... and that's it. My parents have always encouraged me do read more and they also read quite a lot, so this may be a family thing. Do your GD's parents read and show her the example of their own? Do you show such example to her yourself?
You say she doesn't read book even if she likes screen adaptations and she likes video content. Does she watch YouTube bloggers? What if you suggest watch some vlog where young people say that reading is cool? There are many popular young adult books nowadays and you can easily find a blogger who would review one of these books telling the audience how interesting and exciting the book is. From what I know, young teenagers really pay attention to what is considered to be "cool" by other teenagers.
If she likes all visual content with effects, you can suggest to make a digital scrapbook with her favorite movie clips AND book quotes (just make sure that movie is really based on the book). Try to do it in a form of some game, choose those pieces of the text that weren't include in the movie so that she would go "Wow, I didn't know there was this and that!". And try to look for such a program that would be easy for you as well grin. I think Smartshow 3D can be a nice option. And here is an article on the topic, too. I loved the advice about reading magazines. This could be a good start, there are many girl's magazines with funny and bright illustrations.
The last, but not the least: don't tell her she misses lots of interesting things by refusing to read books. Teenagers are rebellious so she could take it as a motivation to deny reading even more!

EllanVannin Wed 13-May-20 09:10:29

Too many distractions nowadays.
Going back many years, we had no television and nothing much else but we had books and plenty of them so reading was the norm.
The many gadgets that there are today are making children's brains lazy because they don't have to think for themselves as everything is there for them.

I remember when calculators became the " in-thing " and children stopped working things out in their head. The same is happening through lack of reading, it removes a child's imagination when following pictures that are already there for them. This isn't about building individuality, it's cloning.

MaizieD Wed 13-May-20 09:20:31

I wouldn't worry too much so long as she is able to read competently. Reading is needed for the boring things in life too and I'm sure that as she grows up she will use her reading skills when they are needed; for example, when applying for jobs.

I know it's really sad that we have generations who are unable to take pleasure in reading, not so much the actual stories as the pleasure of enjoying good writing, but I think we have to be pragmatic about it.

geekesse Wed 13-May-20 09:50:34

I sometimes suggest to parents of unwilling readers that they buy unabridged audio books and also the paper version, and encourage children to follow the text as they listen. After a while, they discover that you can lose yourself in a book, and then they may choose to read one that doesn’t have an audio version.

annemac101 Wed 13-May-20 09:53:15

My son is 37 now and when he was young he couldn’t see the point of reading a book if he could watch the film. I’m and avid reader so he was brought up with books around him and a bookcase in his bedroom. His younger sister always read books. When he was older from his late teens he started reading books on subjects that interested him and then on to some fiction books. I think the more you pressurize them into reading the more they rebel against it. They have to find the pleasure in it by themselves.

SunnySusie Wed 13-May-20 09:55:17

Children learn a lot by observing the adults around them. My Dad was a great reader and was often to be seen reading a book in the evening. He would discuss what he read with me and it was a great motivator. I was thrilled when I started reading the same books as him and he would have real adult conversations with me about what we had read. Is there anyone your DGD sees regularly reading to act as a role model?

My own daughter was a highly reluctant reader. She could read fine, but she couldnt be bothered. Then we went to stay for a fortnight in an apartment in a Spanish speaking country with no access to English TV or other electronic distractions (thin on the ground anyway at that time). At first she was just bored, but eventually she picked up the pile of books I had taken with us and made her way through every single one. On the way home she explained to me how she could make a film inside her head when she was reading and have the characters just like she wanted them. She never lost that, and although she isnt an avid reader now (too fond of computer games) she will read if detached from the internet! Spins off books from films, computer games, TV series etc are her favourite.

RAZZLEDAZZLE Wed 13-May-20 09:56:58

My son, was in remedial reading at school, it wasn’t until his Nanna bought him a Beano comic that it all clicked! He is now a solicitor in London, so try to find something that might be fun to read with puzzles and not just a book of words.

aanncc Wed 13-May-20 10:00:40

My daughter used to hate reading until I started getting her Beano comic. It doesn’t matter what they read as long as they enjoy it. She is a real bookworm now .

grandtanteJE65 Wed 13-May-20 10:01:02

To me, you are describing a dylexic child or one whose tuition in reading at school has been appalling if she, at the age of ten, is still stumbling through letters.

For Heaven's sake STOP trying to get the girl to like reading! It is a traumatic, boring chore to her.

Her parents need to find out whether their daughter is dylexic or not and have her given special tuition if she is.

To an avid reader like myself it is a tragedy that some children and adults today never read for pleasure, but now that your computer can read the news and letters from the authorities aloud to you and practically any book you can think of exists in a good, bad or indifferent film version, or as an audio book, it may well be that reading like good hand-writing is a skill that won't be all that necessary for your granddaughter.

Sad? yes to my mind, but so is pushing a child to do something she dislikes.

I realise that you, and others, are doing it with the very best intentions, but no child, myself included, ever learnt something because we were forced to, or made to feel guilty because we couldn't do it well, or easily.

Theoddbird Wed 13-May-20 10:04:23

A child of ten will rebel against a adults wishes Reverse psychology can work. Tell the child that reading is not important. Tell them not to bother. I used this method on many things with my children

Moggycuddler Wed 13-May-20 10:09:34

Try audio books from Audible? Maybe one that's read by an actor that she knows and likes? (A lot are very well read by popular actors.) It might just help to make her realise how much fun a book can be and eventually read them for herself. Or at least listen to books. I have physical issues that make it uncomfortable for me to hold books, so a few years ago I joined Audible and now I listen to books every day. I enjoy them just as much as if I read them myself, if not more. And I don't need to miss out on the books I fancy. I have listened to books read by John Simm, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage and many other well known actors who really breathe life into good books.

TwiceAsNice Wed 13-May-20 10:11:29

My twin grand children are the same. We trace it back to a very difficult teacher when they were in year 3/4 she insisted they plough through the reading scheme when both of them , especially the one could read to a higher level. They got so bored they switched off and stopped reading. My daughter protested many times, sent their own books in but as other issues were also not as she agreed with actually moved them schools but too late. Much happier in second school but still no reading!

They now read only when they have to. Will happily read recipes as they like to help cook. We all read to them every day including at bedtime and they will read factual better than story but the initial enthusiasm has been lost and I am very cross with that teacher that started it all!

MiniMoon Wed 13-May-20 10:11:37

My grandson who is 11 wouldn't read. He has just discovered the Harry Potter books, and is reading and enjoying them so much. He tells me that the movies missed out so much. There are little details and descriptions that couldn't be included in the films.
The descriptions of Dudley and his parents for example, make them completely different people from those depicted on the screen.
What your granddaughter needs to find is a book that, once begun, has to be finished.
At her age I read Little Women, What Katy Did, Great Expectations, David Copperfield and Jane Ayre to name a few.
As someone else said, we live in a different age now and reading for pleasure isn't high on their agenda.

TwiceAsNice Wed 13-May-20 10:11:53

We are all avid readers so no lack of example