How to Get Your 10-Year-Old Son to Read Something: 13 Tips for Frustrated Parents

Cat Johnson Co
Published in
5 min readAug 31, 2017

Is getting your 10 year-old son to read an exercise in futility? Is he a good reader but he refuses to read unless forced into it? You’re not alone.

Boys historically trail behind girls in literacy, reading comprehension, and enjoyment of reading. As the Brookings Institute reports:

Among younger children — age nine to ten, or about fourth grade — girls consistently outscore boys on international assessments, from a pioneering study of reading comprehension conducted in fifteen countries in the 1970s, to the results of the Program in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) conducted in forty-nine nations and nine benchmarking entities in 2011. The same is true for students in high school. On the 2012 reading literacy test of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), worldwide gender gaps are evident between fifteen-year-old males and females

How do you get your 10-year old son to read? Here are 13 tips:

1. Read to him: Reading to your children can improve their reading skills and teaches them to be lifelong learners. As Reading is Fundamental explains, “Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word…Even after children learn to read by themselves, it’s still important for you to read aloud together. By reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch young readers’ understanding and motivate them to improve their skills.”

2. Take turns reading: As your son starts reading on his own, take turns reading from books that interest him but are above his reading level. This will keep him engaged and encouraged to improve his own reading skills.

3. Talk about what you’re reading: Talking about what you read with your son can improve retention and help keep him engaged. If reading is a chore to be done, it will quickly be forgotten; if it’s an interesting topic that you explore further through reading, he’ll likely return to the book and topic to learn more.

Cat Johnson Co

I‘m a content strategist and creator focused on coworking, content and community. I run Coworking Convos, The Lab and Coworking Out Loud. More: