How can you encourage a non-reading child to read? What about a teen-ager? Would you require books to be read in the hopes that they would enjoy them once they got into them, or offer incentives, or just suggest interesting books? If you do offer incentives and suggestions and that doesn’t work, would you then require a certain amount of reading? At what point do you just accept that your child is a non-reader?
In the book Gifted Hands by brilliant surgeon Ben Carson, one of the things that turned his life around was his mother’s requirement that he and his brother read books and write book reports for her. That approach worked with him, but I have been afraid to try it. My children don’t need to “turn their lives around,” but they would gain so much from reading and I think they would enjoy it so much if they would just stop telling themselves, “I just don’t like to read.”
I don't have children so I have no first hand experience of encouraging them to read. I've always known that when I have children, I'll be reading to them from a very early age so that they have that early memory of books and reading connected to the warmth and love that I gave them.
I always remember my dad reading me bedtime stories and it's well-documented in my family that I'd come home from nursery school (at aged 3) and drag my big basket of books to the nearest parents, demanding that every one of those stories be read.
My parents are voracious readers. I've never seen them not be in the middle of reading something. Our house is filled to the brim with books! I imagine it's where my brothers and I got our love of reading. We look up to our parents when we're children and want to be like them. If we see them doing something like reading, we'll want to copy them.
Plus our Junior school organised book clubs - We'd take a catalogue home every couple of weeks, tell our parents which books we wanted, we brought the money in, and the school would send away for the books for individuals. It was exciting.
I think in order to introduce children and teenagers who don't read to something they'd sit down with is to find out their interests. There's always a book they'll have something in common with.
If they're a big fan of certain films that are based on books, that's always a good way to turn them to reading aswell. :)