My 6 year old son is not fond of reading. When he was younger I freaked out a little. Why is he not picking up a book?? Why is he picking up little cars and action figures instead? Aaaaahhhh! Somebody help!!! His older sister started reading in kindergarten and the punishment she gets for bad behavior is her reading privilege being taken away. The little guy was rather fond of keeping his distance from any sort of written word.
I talked to everybody who would listen, what could be the matter with him? Is he dyslexic? It is only natural that my child will be an avid reader since I am one. After some agonizing years and a lot of reading up on dyslexia and other learning disorders, I came to terms with the fact that Ryan is one of those people who may not think books are the best thing in the world next to white bread. He is perfectly fine when it comes to learning skills. He is not dyslexic, he just doesn’t enjoy books unless they talk about his football team or baseball team!
Lately, his reading skills have improved considerably! But what he told me today at the dinner table made a whole lot of sense. He said, ‘Mom, reading is not so bad! I kind of like it! Reading to me is like what junk food is to you!’ ‘Huh! What do you mean, Ryan?’ I asked. ‘Well, you know, you don’t LOVE ice cream but when you eat it you don’t dislike it, you kind of like it. Reading is like that for me. When I read a book I KIND of like it!’ That seemed to make sense to me.
I also acknowledged that he is different. He is a unique individual with his own strengths and weaknesses. I was being so unfair trying to put him in a mold just to feel good about having two children, both of them voracious readers. Ok, lesson learnt, Mama!
One thought on “‘Reading to me is what junk food is to you’”
I struggle with one child out of my three not really enjoying reading. He is my artistic, creative child. He also loves to learn but he learns best when he is ENGAGED. He is not a passive learner and hence, not a big reader. I go the route of getting many kinds of books from the library, including many that are graphic novels, Calvin and Hobbes and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Below his reading level? Yes, definitely. But also things that he associates with something enjoyable versus something he is forced to do. My hope is that he will enjoy reading more as he gets older.