Monday, January 30, 2012

Why Reading Is Like Vegetables

Like a lot of parents, I had trouble getting my son to read. Things were clicking along until he hit five and started to school. Then we had the Kindergarten Teacher from Hell. The one who told my kid when he stumbled over one word that if he couldn't read he was stupid. What didn't help was the shift (at the same time) in our neighborhood from parents who encouraged education to parents who viewed the public school system as free babysitting.

Around the same time, GK decided he hated vegetables because all the other kids at school hated vegetables.


Threats do not work with GK. They never have. I've had to use a lot of stealth techniques in the areas of both vegetables and reading to maintain his appropriate growth rate.

The Bait and Switch

I pretend I can't find X vegetable or book. "Why don't you do Y instead to fulfill your requirements?"

The Bargain

If you eat X number of vegetable pieces (read X number of pages), you can play X minutes on the Xbox.

Reverse Psychology

We take GK to see X movie ("Hey, there's a book about X movie, but don't read it"). Or we order X vegetable at a restaurant and say he can't have any. GK will partake because thinks he's getting away with something.


Since GK loves the Halo video game and Strawberry Pop-Tarts, I'll say, "Why don't you read a Halo novel while snacking on fresh strawberries."

So, what do y'all do to interest your kid in things they need but hate?

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