From the RIF (Reading is Fundamental) website: What doesn’t work.
Nagging. Avoid lecturing about the value of reading and hounding a child who is not reading. Your child will only resent it.
Bribing. While there’s nothing wrong with rewarding your child’s reading efforts, you don’t want your youngster to expect a prize after finishing every book. Whenever possible, offer another book or magazine (your child’s choice) along with words of praise. You can give other meaningful rewards on occasion, but offer them less and less frequently. In time, your child will experience reading as its own reward.
Judging your child’s performance. Separate school performance from reading for pleasure. Helping your child enjoy reading is a worthwhile goal in itself.
Criticizing your child’s choices. Reading almost anything is better than reading nothing. Although you may feel your child is choosing books that are too easy or that treat subjects too lightly, hide your disappointment. Reading at any level is valuable practice, and successful reading helps build confidence as well as reading skills. If your differences are simply a matter of personal taste, respect your child’s right to his or her own preferences.
Setting unrealistic goals. Look for small signs of progress rather than dramatic changes in your child’s reading habits. Don’t expect a reluctant reader to finish a book overnight. Maybe over the next week, with your gentle encouragement.
Making a big deal about reading. Don’t turn reading into a campaign. Under pressure, children may read only to please their parents rather than themselves, or they may turn around and refuse to read altogether.
Hmmm. So here’s an interesting conundrum. I liked this article, which I found on RIF.org a month or two ago. Sometimes when I see a good article, I stash it or its URL in my “edit” file until I can use it. Unfortunately, in this case I don’t know whether I parsed/rewrote it before stashing it (to prevent plagiarism) or just stashed the whole article from RIF, intending to rewrite it later (crediting RIF, of course). And now I can’t find it on RIF’s website. Can’t find it anywhere. Searched and searched. So: apologies to RIF if I ripped (or riffed) you off. Just to be safe I’ll put a nice big link to RIF right in the headline. There. Good article, though, eh? On second thought, maybe it’s RIF’s original article after all. I don’t think I’d say “youngster.” “Kid” is more my style. UPDATE: Oh geez, it’s like a week later and I just remembered. I actually contacted RIF and asked them if I could reproduce their article! (They said yes.) Oh phew! Know what made me think of it? I was writing the companion article, “What does work,” and I was thinking, “I wonder if RIF would be interested in reading this?” And then I recalled e-mailing them and hearing back from them. Oh geez. Sorry to make you read all of this fine print – but thanks for hanging in there. Wasn’t the ending worth it? Well, it was for me. You’re awesome, reader.