Why reading is bad for kids

Some magnetic letters spelling out the words: "Dylan", "cake" and "poo".

Something has been troubling me of late. It’s a problem that has only come into play since Dylan started at school, so I know where to point the finger for what follows.

When he first went, he could barely scribble his own name but he can now read and write very capably and takes great delight in doing so. And ever since he acquired this particular set of skills he has, like Liam Neeson in Taken, become a nightmare to people like me as a result. He will look for words, he will find them and he will embarrass me.

I’ve therefore come to the conclusion that reading is bad for kids. Here are five reasons why I believe this to be the case…

A shopping list. The word 'condoms' is the focus of the image.

Johnny on the spot

We always looked forward to the day when he started being helpful around the house, but now we’re cursing it. He insists on reading and ticking off the items on the shopping list when our groceries are delivered. Naturally, he shouts the names of items he hasn’t previously heard of.

Some magnetic letters spelling out the words: "Dylan", "cake" and "poo".

Poo sticks

I accept some responsibility for this one as I purchased the magnetic letters and I also acknowledge that the basic sentence he has formed displays a sound understanding of human biology. But he wouldn’t have done this if he hadn’t have been taught how to read and write!

A TV planner.

A master of spin no more

It was great being able to tell little white lies in order to avoid having to watch something for the 97th time “Erm, Daddy, you said we haven’t got any episodes of NinjaGo, but there are loads of them and they’re there… above Kung Fu Panda.” Drat!

A notebook showing plans for a birthday party.

Spoiler alert

Xander had his birthday recently and we wanted to keep our plans for his party under wraps. Unfortunately, Dylan discovered Kate’s notebook and vocally expressed his excitement at the fun we had in store.

Three DVDs with titles that are unsuitable for children.

Basterds busted

Although owning DVDs is largely pointless when you have kids, it’s nice to know they’re there. It’s a little like living near the seaside in that way. However, some of my old favourites have had to go into hiding, lest new words are learned or nightmares inspired.

Two disclaimers here:

  1. Just in case it’s not obvious, yes, my tongue is firmly in my cheek.
  2. In the title of this post, I’m referring to the act of deciphering letters to form words and not the town in Berkshire. I’m sure it’s a fine place for youngsters.

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