Our expert says:
Of course, as you know, smacking is useless and unacceptable - and it doesn't help in the least. Its actually good practice when encouraging a child to learn to read, to start with words that interest him, such as his with to be able to read and understand instructions in the games he plays. There might be some basic learning problems here, or it may be that you have been so anxious to help, that the whole issue has become too stressful for him to concentrate.
DO discuss this with his teachers at school, who should be able to advise, and maybe the assessment and advice of a child psychologist could help. But actually, for you to stop grimly reading with him might indeed help a lot - you risk making reading associated for him with highly emotional and angry things, rather than with pleasure. Let his teachers be in charge, and relax, so that he can relax. It will "click" and he'll get into it when relaxed, not when in a panic about mom's anger and fierceness.
Maria summarizes the right approach, very well.
Above all - instead of making him fearful of failure, praise him and make him feel really good about everything he gets right - get pleasantly excited about the words he DOES read and remember, and comment that the others will come, and praise him for trying so hard.
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