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4 Reasons You Should NOT Teach Your Little One How To Read

Just because you CAN teach your little one how to read doesn't mean you SHOULD. In this blog post, I'm going to cover the 4 biggest reasons not to teach your toddler how to read.

This will come as a surprise to a lot of people, but I do not believe that everyone should teach their child how to read. 

There is a reason I named my business “Toddlers Can Read,” and not “Toddlers Must Read.” I will never tell parents they must teach their children how to read because that isn’t true. Each child develops differently, so it’s up to us, as their parents, to figure out what’s best for them.

And part of figuring out if teaching your child how to read early is what’s best for them is figuring out why you want to teach them how to read. Even though there are a lot of good reasons to teach your little one how to read, there are also plenty of bad ones. 

In this blog post, I will share four reasons why you shouldn’t teach your little one how to read so you can decide what is best for your child.

1. To compete against other people’s kids.

Our little ones did not sign up to compete with other children. Learning to read is not a competition, and every child develops at their own pace. Teaching your little one to read is a very personal decision based on what’s best for them, not what other parents are doing with their children.

And to keep it real with you: if your goal in teaching your child to read is to somehow make them “better” than someone else’s kid, there’s probably something bigger going on in your life. 

2. To show off on social media.

Take it from someone who taught their own kid to ready really early and really well:

Nobody cares.

Other parents do not want to see or hear you brag about your child on Instagram and Facebook. There isn’t some big award you win for teaching your child how to read because it isn’t about you- it’s about your kid. So if you’re in it to make yourself look better, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. 

3. Because you feel guilty or pressured.

I get it. Parent guilt is real. 

It is really easy to watch what other people are doing with their kids and feel bad or like a failure as a parent. 

But guilt will not help you teach your child how to read, and it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for your little one. Don’t make this decision based on your feelings, decide based on what your child’s individual needs are. 

And please, don’t let me (or anyone else) make you feel pressured into doing something you’re not comfortable with. You know your child best, which means you’re the one who gets to determine what’s best for them. 

4. “Just because.”

You should never teach your child to read “just because.” Teaching your child to read takes effort and consistency. So if you can’t clearly articulate how learning to read at this stage will help improve your little one’s life: save your energy for something that will. There are plenty of other things you can work on with your child (that are just as important.)

And if you do decide that teaching your child to read is what’s best for them…

… I’ve got all the resources you need to get started. : ) Along with my paid courses, I have a free Beginning Reading Training that has helped thousands of parents and their little ones. It’s available on demand and has a live chat where you can ask me questions that are specific to you and your child.

Whether or not you decide to teach your child how to read, I hope this was a reminder that doing what’s best for our little ones requires us to put our own feelings aside and focus on what’s best for them.

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