Parenting 101: Boosting your child’s reading confidence


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – It’s something that many parents may be familiar with — their kid hates reading or may have anxiety about it. But can that anxiety impact whether they become proficient readers?

Reading is one of the fundamental building blocks for learning. But what happens if your child has anxiety about reading? Researchers asked 600 first and second graders from the Midwest about their feelings on reading. They also measured their reading achievement by having the child pronounce and read words aloud. They found the kids who had anxiety about reading in the fall of the school year had lower reading test scores in the spring. This suggests that parents may want to focus on reducing children’s negative feelings about reading.

Parents can ease their child’s anxiety by praising them. Be specific when pointing out their progress. Instead of saying “You’re a good reader,” say, “You’re recognizing letter sounds so much better than last week.” Take them to the library to listen to audiobooks. Studies have shown using audiobooks allows listeners to practice language comprehension skills. These all give your child the support they need to succeed.

The study also found that boys were more susceptible to the damaging effects of reading anxiety on reading achievement than girls.

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