Help! My Child Hates Reading!

23 02 2011

Excerpted from Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller’s Question and Answer series on

Questions and Answers for Today's Jewish Woman,Part 3


My daughter is a wonderful girl, does fine in school, and helps a lot around the house.  The problem is that she hates reading. She’d rather sit on the couch and do nothing. She loves going shopping, which also concerns me. I try to explain that we only go shopping when there is something specific we need, but she isn’t satisfied. Is this a battle I that I should choose?


Different people like different things. You need to learn to accept your daughter for who she is. If she is not a reader, that’s ok. She is doing well in school, which means she is responsible enough to read when she has to.

Let her be. Your role is not to figure out how to get her to enjoy reading, but rather to find out what speaks to her. Most non-readers enjoy doing rather than focusing on their inner life. Shopping involves interacting with people. There is a lot of movement and excitement.

Your daughter may be more of a people person rather than a book person. See how you can channel her drives in a healthy way. Anything with people will probably make her happy. Find out if there are drama or singing clubs in your area. Summer camp would be marvelous, if you can afford it. When she gets older, you can encourage her to run a day camp for younger kids. If her passion is clothes, see if you can find a designer course for girls her age.

If you don’t see more than shopping on the “I like list,” then go shopping. Once in a while take a trip into town and devote the afternoon to looking around for things with her.  Don’t view it as a waste of time but rather as spending quality time with your daughter. If she sees you making an effort to make her happy, it will make all the difference in fostering a continued positive relationship with her.




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