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My toddler won't let me read books to him

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


I was wondering if any of you have faced this problem too and wonder how to deal with it or if it's just a phase:


My son is 16 months old and he loves grabbing books and flipping through the pages and touching the images on the books on his own, but when I read anything to him or hold the book, he quickly gets upset and grabs the book from me and wants to flip the pages on his own. I think the only book he has more patience with is "Goodnight Moon" that we read before bed, but even then we can't make it through three or four pages in before he wants to grab the book and flip the pages on his own.


Any thoughts?



post #2 of 13

I don't know if this might be a compromise. But the way my 11 month old nd I always read is he sits on my lap and turns the pages ( although I have to lift the coming page for him to flip). He's not Leah's patient enough to let me finish the text so I've abbridged the story sometimes :) And he's only recently been seeming more interested in the book than just the fun of page turning. 

post #3 of 13

I think it can be normal for some kids.  My son was the same way.  It took quite awhile before he stopped grabbing at the books and turning all the pages.  That's funny you mention Goodnight Moon - because we read that book to him every night and eventually he would sit for it.  I was kind of sad about it because I LOVE books and reading and I was afraid he had no interest.  Now, at 3.5, he loves being read to and can finally listen to longer picture books without getting antsy.  He still likes to read books on his own too.   My daughter is 22 months and she is pretty good about sitting for books, but still only 2-4 words on a page before she gets impatient.  Sometimes, just to be silly, I quickly say the words as fast as I can and try to turn the page before they can.  Story usually gets missed, but lots of giggling.

post #4 of 13

When my 23-mo old gets tired of the words, I discuss the pictures with him.  Can you find the monkey?  Look at the elephants back there, what does an elephant say?

post #5 of 13
Goodnight Moon and Goodnight Gorilla! are my DS's favorites. smile.gif He wants to hear them every bedtime routine!

DS often only sits for half of a book. Oddly, no matter the length, he gets antsy halfway through most books! A lot of times we just need to quickly distract him at that point to remind him to focus. Other times we jut move in to a new book!

Also- perhaps reading the words isn't the way to go at this phase. Maybe you need to just narrate the pictures? Many books with lots of words get a quick narration from us, since DS just can't focus or understand that much yet.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks all! Actually, you're right, I don't even bother reading the text, because we can't even get to it. But, even if I point to an animal or some other picture, he gets upset and moves my hands away!

post #7 of 13

My son went through a similar stage at about that age!  It passed.  He adores books now, and always  begs for extra stories at bedtime!  I often catch him leafing through books quietly on his own.  The other day I came in to the bedroom to find him on the bed with his baby sister, "reading" her one of his favorite books by heart.  He is 3.


My recommendation would be to try not to get flustered by his behavior (as difficult as it is, I know!).  Make book time fun and enjoyable for him, even if it's only a few minutes here and there.  He'll learn to love reading this way.

post #8 of 13

my 16 month old DD does this often as well.  She has a book shelf in her room that is right at her level with all of her books on it (there's easily about 50 books)  They're all board books so she can't hurt them, and she loves them -but usually on her own.  I often find her hiding behind the rocking chair in her room, with her blankie in her lap, flipping through a book.  Occasionally she allows us to read to her, but there's always paraphrasing to get the pages to turn fast enough.  I think this is totally normal for this age, and for the  "do-it-yourselfer's" like DD, it's simply one of many things that I just have to accept is who she is and it will change.  If anything, I'm in awe of her level of independence already.

post #9 of 13

My 18 month old has always loved to be read to, but DD was not at all into it when she was a toddler. Pushing it just turned her off it even more, so I quit. She saw me reading all the time, I occasionally offered to read to her, kept board books around for her to flip through on her own, and she finally started getting interested when she was almost 4. She just turned 7. She reads all the time by herself now (seriously, constantly), she reads to her brother, and she loves to be read to. She's just a really independent kid and needs to come to things on her own terms.

post #10 of 13
My son also did not like being read to. Then, at a routine eye exam, we discovered he had really bad vision. Once he got his glasses, books made more sense and he enjoys them. It might be a phase, it might be something else.
post #11 of 13

It can be normal at this age to not be interested in books or it could be an issue with vision. Was his vision evaluated at birth? If not, you can have it done for free http://www.infantsee.org/

post #12 of 13

We've had to nix reading time with my son all together.  He'll occasionally sit in someone's lap with a book, but there's rarely time to read the pages, and he has no care for any other kind of interaction.  He bats everyone away like he's trying to say, "Get out of my way!  I'm doing this on my own like a big boy!"  He's got no patience for being read to right now.  I went through this with my other son too, but he outgrew it pretty quick, though he still prefers to "read" the books on his own.  He's settled in to accept being read to now and again.

post #13 of 13
Today is ds 18 month birthday. Coincidentally today was also the first time I was able to read a book to him. We read run away bunny quickly LOL. When he was 1 I was worried about exactly the same thing & got mostly the same advice. So I just made sure a selection of books was in reach in his &our rooms. I would try to read to him every so often but never got further than the first page. Then I was able to get a couple pages. Sometimes I would read the book aloud while he wandered around playing. Seuss books are great for that. One thing I finally noticed about 2 months ago was that he never saw me reading books. I always had so much chores to do I didn't get to read. I changed that immediately & soon after he started sitting down with them. Can't say if it made a difference or was just timing. I say just be patient. It make no difference on future reading.

sent from my phone using tapatalk, please forgive typos
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