Articles and Topics
How can I get my 4-year-old to sit with me while I read him a book?
Q: How can I get my 4-year-old to sit with me while I read him a book? When I get past the first page, he tries to read it himself even though he can't read.
A: One thing is to choose very short books—books with few words and a lot of pictures. And I think you need to capitalize on his desire to be the reader. One recommendation would be simply to plan to read every book twice. Try to bargain with him to let you read through it the first time, then let him “read” it to you. If this doesn’t work, after he tells you about the second page, say something like, “Now let me tell you exactly what those words say before we turn the page. Then you’ll know next time.” Keep that up until you get to the end.

Tape recorders and audio books work well with a child who wants to take over the reading. The sound coming out of the ear phones is impersonal enough to make the child less prone to get into a power struggle over who is allowed to read. Finally, I think I would compliment him for wanting to be the reader. It means that he has already grasped the idea that there is an association between the squiggles on the page and words. Grasping that idea is the first step in learning to read.