“Please God, let the school bell ring now so that my turn to read to the class won’t come around."
This was a prayer of an 8-year old kid who struggled to read. He feared not just reading but the snickers and giggles of his classmates.
While most children show an interest in reading, the children who struggle with reading avoid it at all costs. They start believing that “I am not good at reading, so I don’t want to do it.” It not just affects them academically, but also their confidence.
Many parents may become aware of their child’s reading challenges when they help them learn or during parent-teacher interaction.
What many parents do when they become aware is to make the child practice a lot of reading, drill them on alphabets, vocabulary and use flash cards to help. These methods can become counter-productive if the child does not find joy in reading.
One possible intervention is for parents to notice what the child is doing well and encourage the child to use those abilities, it can boost the confidence. For eg., if a child is good at drawing, encourage the child to draw the main character while reading or draw a picture of the word.
Focusing on the strengths rather than the deficits in reading is a good place to start from.