Why Children’s Books are Slowly Becoming Akin to Indigestion

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I found a USA Today article on the best reading apps for boy reluctant readers. It advertises reading apps for boy reluctant readers like they’re a panacea.  The article briefly explains that if parents have boys that are gamers and don’t like to read, well here is the solution to this age-old problem.

Simple, right?

 

Why I Have Mixed Feelings

 

Just like any other educational media, reading apps for boy reluctant readers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, often with too many bells and whistles dangling for the ride. I admit digital reading and interactive reading apps have a place in the arsenal if they are of high quality.

I don’t take any issue with high interest reading apps in general as long as they help to improve reading skills and not become just another video game.

However, I’m concerned that they have become just that, used as just another video game.

video-game-kid

There is enough already that drags boys that don’t read enough away from quality reading. The only real answer to help reluctant readers to read more is to get them to read more books!  Great books and conversations about great books, the answer. This is the panacea. It always has been the answer.  Reading that looks and acts like video games on either phones or tablets, I believe should never take the place of great books.   Raise the bar, not compensate for it.

Great Children’s Books- The Real Panacea, Please Stand Up

Unfortunately, the panacea is the most difficult of solutions to achieve, as books are becoming closer to indigestion for a growing number of kids not sources of great entertainment, escape, and enrichment, as they should be.

Uggh, why can’t parenting be any easier? Why is any real solution to any real problem or any real achievement always so damned difficult! Trust me, I seriously ask this all of the time while having small tantrums, here and there.

I’m not, in any way, judging parents here. Parenting is tough, truly. I’m just doing my best to help anyone concerned with their child’s reading habits, as I’m there too.  I’m a children’s author for the sake of Pete (didn’t say that right). I’m not sure why this expression became popular by the way. Why should anyone worry about this Pete guy when we have so many hurdles ourselves, like my own 13-year-old reluctant reader, son of a children’s author who writes for reluctant readers, uggh…makes me feel like Charlie Brown on his back, that football missed again.

Anyhooo…

The hey, at least they aren’t playing Halo all of the time, and doing something that resembles reading, don’t knock it alright, mentality, kind of bugs me. That’s what I’m getting at here. Okay, it kind of really bugs me. Alright, it just straight up freakin bugs me, okay. Hmm. That felt good.

Suggestions for Phone Absorbed Reluctant Readers

Reduce their time on devices: yes, I know I’m being kind of well, no duh, here, but it’s true boys are reading less than ever, kids are reading less than ever due to electronics!

  • Get tougher if they avoid reading at home. If they don’t read a prescribed amount of time take away their device until they do. Sometimes this is the only thing that works with our 13- year-old. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to do this, but…you know.
  • Read around them and to them- Dads! This especially means you! I do my best with this. And you don’t have to walk around with a book in your hand, okay. Try once-in-a-while.
  • Have conversations with them, even if they seemed a bit forced at first, find the time to do so: opinions about tv shows, movies, school, their sports, their subjects, their teachers, even girls.
  • Talk to boys about why reading is so important, how it helps all aspects of life.
    Do your best! That’s all you can do.

The suggestions above are just a few things to consider first before loading up your reluctant reader boy with reading apps that seem more like games because you are concerned with their waning interest in reading, due to playing games too much.  It just feels off, doesn’t it?  Just do your best to keep books in his/her life. That’s the best you can do.

If you’d like to download resources for reluctant readers, click here. Chances are I have curated something that could be of assistance… oh, and good luck.

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