Saturday, November 19, 2016

Building Self-esteem Through Reading

Building Self-esteem in Boys Through Reading

Below is an excellent article written by C.J. Quinn.

Reading is a critical component of creating self-esteem. According to the Child Development Institute, LLC, “Self-esteem is a major key to success in life. The development of a positive self-concept or healthy self-esteem is extremely important to the happiness and success of boys.”  Reading builds boys’ self-esteem because it fosters a more proficient reader, thus cultivating a more confident person. You can’t give a child self-confidence; they have to earn it. A good way to gain self-esteem is through reading. As your boy reads, he becomes more proficient and learns valuable lessons from the stories. Pulitzer prize-winning author of Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt said, “Stock your mind. It is your house of treasure.”

Nurturing your boys to enjoy the art of reading is an undertaking. One suggestion to help boys read is to incorporate it into their everyday routine. After they get settled down for bed have your boy(s) read for a minimum of 30 minutes before lights out. This could be any kind of reading; silent reading, parents or siblings reading aloud to one another, and/or listening to books on audio. eBooks can be especially instrumental because they can look up vocabulary words they may be unfamiliar with. Furthermore, reading is a valuable time for your son to wind down from the day and use his mind more introspectively. You can even turn it into a time where the family reads together; all reading silently or aloud. This time together is more important today due to our fast paced, frenetic society.

Let your boy(s) choose the books they read. Give them many different selections. Take them to the library, a bookstore or let them peruse the eBook libraries. The goal here is to get your boys to want to read. Schools often choose books that are uninspiring. When a boy has the ability to pick and choose what he wants to read, this spurs an interest in reading and gives the boy motivation to read. Boys enjoy reading about adventure, action, fantastical stories and humor more than any other genres. Boys will read if the story engages them.  

Turn the concept around from reading as a chore, into reading for pleasure. According to the National Literacy Trust research, only 1 in 4 boys read outside of class every day.”  Promote reading by giving your boy ownership in his choices. Reading a series is vital because your son already understands the plot, they know the characters and are curious to see what the next book brings. This builds on their reading skills because they are already invested in the story, which is a great hook.

If you have a boy who is struggling with reading at school, make sure that you give him stories he can be successful in reading. In 1946, researcher Emmett Betts suggested that we should be giving students texts in which they could read at least 90 percent of the words and comprehend at least 75 percent of the information. This enhanced both learning and attitude. If your reader struggles with reading, it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. It can affect them in school, in their relationships and with their peers. This in turn can affect their feelings of self-worth.

When boys read fantasy it gives them a place to explore their fears. Books that have characters in them that they can relate to are essential to the success of boys reading. Through reading about other fictional characters whom they can connect with to sort out who they are. That personal exploration allows boys to put things in into perspective in their own lives. Boys need outlets to read to build their self- esteem as people. Nurture your boys to become successful readers if you want to help them build self-esteem.

C.J. Quinn is the author of Talia and the Capture of Wrath, a middle grade fantasy novel that promotes environmental awareness. After traveling the world, she settled down to start a family, which has proven to be the biggest adventure yet. She currently resides in Seattle with her family. Click here to learn more about her very cool book.


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Anonymous said...

I strongly agree that reading helps to build a boys self-esteem. Boys can learn valuable lessons about life, how to treat others, and about themselves by reading more. I feel as though reading is a tool to help them grow into a young man. Boys reading will also help them to become more vocal and speak about certain situations. Reading will also help boys gain an understanding on how to get through life as a boy and understand difficult situations.

Mary Embrack said...

I can honestly say that I have never thought about reading as a means of boosting a self-esteem within anyone let alone boys. Over the years of studying and becoming a parent, its amazing what life will teach you. Boys are ideally seen as an image of protection and strength, in which they become men. Men that are sent to battle the world for the women and children. But they need more than that. Encouraging our young boys whom are our future men, to be better readers helps promote them mentally and spiritually. Giving them another stripe on their belt of success and knowledge. My husband is living proof of a child that was not encouraged to read or study and to this day he hates it. Now he does encourage and push for it in our children. He wants them to have the passion for learning and the desire to obtain more knowledge that he never had. Encouraging our boys to read is one of the best parenting things we can do. Even if we are not a parent biologically. Motivating their sense of imagination, boosting their confidence in themselves that they can soar and do anything that is done in those books.

Paige Johnson said...

This article really puts a different look on reading as a whole. Constantly people regard reading as a way to escape or unwind, but never is it noted as a boost in self-esteem and especially not for boys. I have also never considered the boost that young boys actually need to their confidence in order to fulfill the demands society puts on them. This article really calls to mind several important issues.
The first being that boys have an abundance of pressure put on them to be the perfect man as they get older. With a society pulling in every single direction, the ability for a young man to escape society by reading something that he finds value and importance in is a major game changer. This can give our young men the opportunity to feel like they can be who they really are, without meeting any particular expectations.
Second, not every boy out there has the manly role model in his life he deserves. Some boys grow up without a dad or other fatherly figure to show him right from wrong and to make him feel confident in himself. If a young boy cannot see himself in the men around him, it makes it hard for him to find his identity and really flourish. That being said, reading can give these boy the opportunity to find identity in a character that is relatable. If boys can see desirable traits in characters, they can better learn how to display those traits and become like the desirable "characters" they want to be. Boys have a better chance of understanding the struggles portrayed by a character that is like them than one that is not.
Lastly, this is a major idea in the education world. Teachers and parents alike should know that reading can make boys feel more confident and accepted. By understanding the effects that reading can have on boys, it makes it easier for teachers to breed an environment of self-confidence and influence better members of society.
As a future educator, these ideas are so important and I love to find new concepts on building better minds. It may take one parent believing in an idea and following through with it, but if the process works it works. These are the types of ideas that should be shared with anyone and everyone who works with children, so that the entire "village" can work together to make better futures.

Dallas Eli said...

"Boys Read" has enlightened me greatly about the theories of how reading can influence self esteem. It makes perfect sense that how exploring the literature world directly relates to reality, especially in the growing young mind. I think that this topic not only relates to young males, but also to young females. They are allowed to form perceptions within the story that they are reading. Likewise, as the author states, that it turns a requirement into a possible hobby that is beneficial in preparing them intellectually.

Robert Stanfield said...

The blog post and "Boys Read" as a whole really connected with me on a different level than others. Growing up I can remember from first-hand experience that most boys are taught ti focus on sports, athletics, outdoors, or things of a physical nature. I can also remember the assumption among children that girls are just smarter than boys. This article really showed me the positivity that can come from silly education an providing young boys with the opportunity to read and broaden their knowledge. I for one was always an athlete in all grades and in college, but I can remember thinking at some points in time how crazy and hectic my schedule was. This article points out ways to not interfere with a young boys schedule but simply help them "wind down" or ease the mind from our "fast paced, frenetic society" just by reading. Another element that I was bale to connect with personally was the thought of reading being a chore. I find myself now having to force myself to read things sometimes, and I believe this comes rom my routines in childhood. I was never demanded to read and always thought of reading as a nuisance or a hassle when in reality reading is exactly the opposite. Reading is a way to imagine, explore, and strengthen all different sorts of mental capabilities. Another strong point of emphasis was that of letting the boy choose what his readings are. I truly believe that I was not able to connect with reading as much because in school you were forced to read whatever the curriculum demanded. Reading is something that helps to explore your own self and therefore you should be able to choose your own readings. In no way should boys become less active physically in their childhoods, but they should also be exercising their mental capabilities and mental self esteem as well.

Rosalind Ash said...

I do agree with you that reading is important in building a boy’s self-esteem. It is also important for success in life. With the onset of electronic devices, you will think that boys will be better readers but it seems that these devices use more images and chat lingo that it hinders the learning of reading more than it helps. Since studies have shown that more African American males and minority males are dropping out of school because they are unable to read, it is of the utmost importance that we guide these boys away from electronic devices and back to reading books for pleasure. Or use them to read books online. Knowing how to read is no longer a privilege but a necessity for success in life, and in order for our boys to be successful, we need to foster in them a love of reading.

Maira Pimentel said...

Reading is important for all people, but I love how this blog focuses on boys. Reading lets you learn more and makes you more knowledgeable. I agree that sometimes reading can be seen to look like something boring or a chore given by a parent. Reading should and needs to be thought as something fun and positive. Boys love sports and if anything relate tbat love for sports into readinf as well. There are so many books avaialble to read so I also agree with having them read books they want to and enjoy to read.

Christina Jones said...

Thank you for this article and website. It is extremely important to encourage literacy in all children but sometimes boys need that extra boost. In teaching our young men to read we can give them the tools they need to become more self aware and continue to change the world for the better. Instilling a sense of self esteem is important in boys as well; the more they grow and learn, the more confident they will become.

Mercedes Duong said...

Reading can also spark creativity and their imagination. It is important for literature to provide a way for boys to positively improve their self esteem and boost their confidence to make them a better person. When they read these books, they take the lesson and values that have read and use them in real life. So even when they are not getting an experience in a real world situation, they can learn through reading books.

joseph peters said...

Reading is a building block to learning and exploring. It leads the way to creating self-esteem. Building a self-concept or healthy self-esteem is extremely important in creating successful individuals. Reading builds boys’ self-esteem because it fosters learning and the creation of a well rounded confident person. Confidence is something that builds throughout the lifespan.

Stevie Pierce said...

Reading is a very important life skill that every child needs. It can allow them to develop the skills to learn how to think, instead of what to think. It helps them develop an original imaginative thought process. It also helps them build confidence and that allows them to have better social skills.