Boys and Reading
"A good book for a boy is one he wants to read"James Moloney
In recent years, there has been a large amount of information published on boys and reading and how to get boys to read. The following information aims to provide a simple and clear summary of the most important findings on this subject. We hope it will help you to help your son become a reader for life!
Why are Boys Reluctant Readers?
Lack of male role modelsResearch has found that many boys perceive reading as something that girls, mothers and 'nerdy' or 'uncool' kids do. They don't see reading as manly and they only read when they are made to. Unfortunately, most boys don't see men around them reading or see them value reading.2 Most studies have found that reading is of little interest to boys and that boys believe that 'real' men don't read. This stems primarily from a lack of male role models.
Lack of appealing booksMost of the books boys are asked to read simply don't appeal to them. Boys love to read books that match their image of themselves. They love books that: are full of action, are funny, poke fun at others (particularly adults) and, they usually love books that contain some gross or disgusting things! Unfortunately, these type of books are often criticised by adults and regarded as poor quality literature.
How Can we Make Boys Readers?
1). Present male role models who read
Studies show that young people who read everyday are more likely to have a father or significant male in their life, who reads. Presenting male role models who read regularly, whether it is a father, brother, uncle or any other important male in your son's life, is perhaps the most important strategy in making a reader.
So Dads, make a point of reading something in the presence of your son every day even if it is just the sports section of the newspaper. Also read with your son, even if it is simple matter such as letters, junk mail, notes from school, newspapers, magazines such as TV guides and instructions. Talk about what you have read and show that you value reading (this goes for Mothers as well!).
A cautionary note on reading with your son: do not ask him to read aloud, unless he wants to. Many children say they hate reading aloud to their parents. They feel 'set up' and criticised, and it only alienates them more from reading. If this is happening, don't ask your son to read to you! Read to them and just have a happy time together.
2). Any reading is good reading