Boys are more likely to be reluctant readers than girls, usually starting around middle school or before. In part, this is because of the way boys’ brains are structured, but also because many boys don’t see real men as readers. Boys use less of their brains than girls do when reading, so they need more stimulation to keep their interest.
So what can you as a parent do to help keep your boy interested in reading?
- Model reading. Especially if you are a grown male, you are a role model showing men as readers.
- Have books, magazines and other reading material around the house. Show by your actions that reading is important.
- Read to your boy. Yes, he knows how to read, but boys especially love to listen to the stories. Explore books that he likes, and make reading to him part of your daily ritual into his teens.
- Because boys’ brains need more stimulation than girls’ brains, believe your boy when he tells you he can do his homework better while listening to music.
- Boys need to tie what they read to the real world. So for instance if he’s reading a survival story, take him for a hike in the wilderness. Or if he’s reading a story set on the ocean, get him a model ship as a present.
- Boys have slightly different reading tastes than girls do. Unlike girls, they think books about relationships or character growth are boring. Instead, they go for books with lots of action. They go for books with humor, especially slapstick. They tend to read edgier books. And they read lots of non-fiction. Non-fiction is excellent reading for boys because they can tie it to real world experiences, and in general it provides more pictures, giving them the extra brain stimulation that they need.
For specific examples of books the boy in your life might like, come in and talk with us at the Information Desk!