Getting my six year old to pick up reading as a habit was like moving the proverbial mountain. He would throw the biggest tantrum his tinny body could muster whenever he was asked to pick up a book to read. After school, the only activity he finds interesting is playing his Ps4 until nightfall. As a parent, I understand the importance of building a reading habit in a child.
Reading broadens a child perspective on the world, its events and people. It also creates in a child’s mind a vivid imagination about various cultures and practices that exist in the world. It also builds and improves vocabulary in children. I desired all of these and more for my child. It was imperative that I come up with a quick solution to get him to pick up reading.
I knew how he enjoyed shopping for new things such as games and clothes; instead of taking him to a game store on our next shopping spree, I took him to a book store at the mall. At first, he was sceptical and demanded to leave for a game store instead. I encouraged him to pick any book of his choice.
He reluctantly walked to comic section and selected two of his favourite comic books. Not exactly what I was looking for but it was as a small win for me. The following week I had a small shelve installed in his room so that he could properly store all his books. The plan was to teach him the value and importance of books in a persons life.
On the next visit to the mall, we visited the book store again. He insisted on another comic book but this time I told him to try a different genre but as usual, he refused. I told him I will pay him 1 Ghana cedis for every chapter he reads and in addition, he must submit a book report. Deal he screamed!
Oh no, I wasn’t going to stop there! It was time to build on the momentum. I also started a book club with him on weekends where I mostly did the listening whiles he spoke on end about all the characters in the book he had read.
In no time he had built a little library of books for himself. I was shocked when he informed me he had decided to use his little earnings I had paid him to read to purchase more books for his library. I was happy with the progress I had made in changing my sons’ attitude towards reading. It wasn’t easy but it was worth every one Ghana cedi bribe I paid!