Parenting Tips for Children with Reading Problems

By | November 2, 2013

Reading plays a huge part in our daily lives, right from books and magazines to signboards, brochures, maps, lists, and instruction leaflets.  It creates avenues for communication, knowledge, learning and information processing, and also provides a time for relaxation and quiet pursuit of learning that is enjoyable. Children who have problems with reading will be severely limited in their interaction with people and with the world, and are a cause of worry for parents and difficulty for teachers. Reading problems in children lead them to avoid situations in which reading is required, creating a number of restrictions for learning, development and social interaction. Children with reading difficultiesalso find themselves lagging behind the rest of the class in learning, and will develop low self-esteem and other behavioral problems.

Reading Problems in Children

Problems with reading take various forms: difficulties with memorizing words, attention deficit, slow reading rate, confusion between letters or sounds, ignoring punctuation, reading in monotone, and skipping words that are not familiar. While all are problematic and could cause frustration and embarrassment, there are various causes for children’s reading difficulties.

  • Poor techniques used in school
  • Insufficient exposure to the language at home and in school
  • Premature birth or frequent illness can slow the rate of learning and development
  • Hearing or sight problems affecting learning
  • Learning disorders like dyslexia leading to problems with language processing

Children’s Reading Difficulties – Recognizing Signs

When children display signs of reading problems or have not been able to catch up with the class after being at school for two years, parents should consider the possibility of a reading difficulty or learning disorder. Understanding the signs early ensures that treatment can begin while the child’s learning patterns are still being developed. Some of the signs are:

  • Slow reading, or reading without understanding
  • Feeling tired after reading for a short while
  • Lack of enjoyment, displays of frustration and anger
  • Poor spelling and vocabulary development

Helping Children with Problems with Reading

When you notice your child has problems with reading, there are some methods to help him or her.

  • Talk to the teacher to understand possible problem areas or reasons.
  • Talk to your child casually without blame or anger to understand possible issues.
  • Choose books that have complexity levels for a lower age-group than your child to bring reading skills up to an age-appropriate level.
  • Books for reading at home should be simple, have fewer words and shorter passages and should have brightly illustrations so that your child remains interested and motivated.
  • Encourage and praise your child’s efforts at reading.
  • Create a time at home for reading when the family reads together. This will make reading a fun and happy time for children and reduce any mental blocks against reading.

If the problems continue, it is possible there is an underlying birth or genetic learning disorder which might need special care or different teaching methods. Parents should get children checked and begin with treatment at an early age so that their child can helped as soon as possible.


  1. About Dyslexia and Reading Problems – Child Development Info
  2. What to Do If You Suspect Your Child Has a Reading Problem – Children’s Disabilities Info

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