Do you have a lot of trouble getting your son to sit down to read on a regular basis?
This is, unfortunately, not all that surprising, as many studies have revealed that young girls tend to spend more time reading than their male counterparts. As a result, girls typically score higher than boys on reading tests and develop reading habits that benefit them later in life.
Don’t give up on your son just yet, though! There is still time to get him more interested in reading books for boys. You just need to figure out how to get him started.
Here are 9 easy tips for parents who want to encourage their boys to read more often.
1. Start Reading to Your Son From a Young Age
If your son is still on the younger side, it’s never too early to start reading to him. Many parents will begin reading to their kids when they’re still babies.
When you take the time to read to your son from a young age, you’ll get him into the habit of reading. Before long, it’ll feel weird when he doesn’t read, and he’ll seek out books on his own.
Even if your son is in school now, it’s not too late to start reading to him regularly. He’ll get a lot out of it, and so will you!
2. Encourage Dad and Other Adult Males to Read for Pleasure More Often
Young boys tend to emulate the male role models around them when it comes to their behavior. If they see their dad, grandfather, or uncle doing something, they’re likely to do it, too.
Use this to your advantage by encouraging the adult males in your home to read for pleasure as often as they can. It won’t be long before your son is asking you if he “read just like dad/grandpa/Uncle Mike.”
3. Build Your Son a “Reading Fort” Where He Can Hang Out and Read
Most boys love building forts. They’ll use couch cushions, blankets, and whatever else they can find to assemble them.
Throw out the idea of your son building a “reading fort” for himself to entice him to read. Or even better, build a “reading fort” for him yourself.
Pick a place in your home where you can keep the fort up so that your son can go to it anytime he wants to read. It’ll give him a quiet place to get lost in thought as he reads.
4. Figure Out What Kinds of Books Your Son Likes Best
A lot of young boys and girls like reading. They just don’t like the books that they’re asked to read by their parents and teachers.
If you’re struggling to get your son interested in reading, think about his hobbies. Does he like:
- Outer space?
- Wild animals?
Find a few things he likes and then choose books about the topic. That will increase the chances that he’ll like the books for boys you pick and stick with them.
5. Find Authors Your Son Will Enjoy Reading
In addition to trying to track down the types of books your son will like, you should also look for authors he might enjoy.
There are lots of famous athletes who have written books for kids. That might be a good place to start.
But you can also find fascinating authors with great back stories all over the place. You might even want to think about asking your school to invite one of those authors for a visit to talk to kids about their books. It could go a long way towards convincing your son to read more.
6. Talk to Your Son About the Benefits of Reading and Make Them Relatable
As a parent, you know all the benefits of reading for kids. Reading can:
- Improve writing skills
- Expand vocabulary
- Help kids to focus and concentrate more effectively
- And so much more!
Unfortunately, most of those benefits aren’t going to wow your son and make them feel like they have to read. But you can get creative and come up with some benefits that’ll hit a little closer to home.
For example, if your son loves playing basketball, he’s going to need to learn about the history of the game and the players who helped turn the NBA into what it is today. To do it, he’ll need to be able to read!
Or if your son is obsessed with the idea of becoming an astronaut one day, he’s not going to be able to do it without learning about all the planets as well as the sun and moon. He’ll need to be able to read to do that, too.
7. Hook Your Son Up With a Library Card
Want to encourage your son to read and give him a newfound sense of responsibility?
Take him to the library and get him a library card to put in his wallet. He’ll enjoy checking books out when he knows he’s going to be using his own library card to do it.
8. Find Ways to Bring Your Son’s Books to Life
A study done back in 2016 found that boys are more likely than girls to skip over pages when they’re reading. If you want to make sure they don’t do that, find fun ways to bring your son’s books to life.
Have them read a chapter in a book and pick out their favorite part. Then, help them recreate it in real life by decorating their room to match the scene.
It’ll allow your son to experience the book rather than just seeing it as a bunch of words printed on paper.
9. Continue to Speak With Your Son About the Importance of Reading
As boys get older, it can get more and more difficult to encourage them to read. Trying to get them to read with a “reading fort” might not do the trick anymore.
But the good thing is that, as your son ages, he’ll start to get a better understanding of why reading is important as long as you talk to him about it. He’ll begin to see that he’s not going to be able to play college basketball or land a great job one day if his reading isn’t up to par.
Stock Your Home With Books for Boys and Make Reading a Priority for Kids
Don’t wait until your son is 10 or 12 to get him reading. Start him off young by filling his bookshelf with plenty of books for boys.
This will show him the value of reading from a young age. He’ll establish good reading habits and make reading a bigger part of his life when you do this.
Contact us to learn more about how we’re motivating more boys to read all the time.