By Jan Harmsworth   June 2020

Brilliant Ideas To Overcome Non Co-operation In Reading

Non co-operation is a tricky issue and one we need to talk about.

If your child isn’t already being home schooled there can sometimes be an issue here.


The problem lies in how your child perceives you. Up till now you have been carer, nurse, cook, fixer, possible disciplinarian and loving parent. Now, all of a sudden, you’re taking on a different ‘hat’ and becoming ‘teacher’.

Some children can be really resistant to this change of role and try all the tricks they can think of to get you back into your usual role.


 These tricks can include simply refusing to co-operate when you try to teach your child reading in a new way. This is so that it all becomes too hard for you and you give up.

Other tricks are always finding other things they ‘have to do’ at the time you want to do reading.

Or feeling sick, tired, the best movie is starting right now and it’s only on once, they’ve got homework they must get done tonight etc. The excuses are endless for an intelligent child!

The goal is the same of course – they want you to give up!


 No!  You don’t have to! As long as you recognise what’s happening you can counteract it with offers that are too good to refuse!

For example, you can offer rewards that are really appropriate for your child like an extra half an hour for Gaming, or texting friends, if that’s what s/he’s into, or movie night on Friday etc. Make the rewards for co-operation really attractive to your child so s/he can’t resist them!


 Parents who are already home schooling their child don’t usually face these particular problems however.

Theirs are more likely to be around the child being unwilling to ‘start all over again’; not wanting to face yet another program that ‘will fail’, just like all the others; being determined that s/he is a failure at reading, nothing can help so s/he’s not doing it! 

In this instance it’s important to have a method to show that your child IS making progress.


 For example, a chart on the fridge with the Levels listed down the page. As your child completes a Level, award a star against that Level, so it’s obvious your child has made progress. (The family need to be ‘clued up’ to respond to the new star with praise and amazement.)

Celebrate the progress with the family – either a celebration meal, visit, reward, anything to let your child know you’re absolutely delighted to see the progress!

There’s nothing like success to breed success and as your child sees him/herself making progress, probably for the first time ever in reading, it acts as a spur to keep working and keep trying hard.

The idea of not co-operating doesn’t come into it when there’s something offered that they want!

Problem solved!