How I Raised Three Kids to be Readers

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

I flat out manipulated my three kids into reading.

It started when the television broke and I couldn't find the money to get it fixed —that was back in the day when we fixed things. It was pure d hell the first week.

My three kids, boy and girl twins at 7 years old, and their younger brother at 5, and I cowered in our respective bedrooms as we let go of our addiction to television. I was so grateful I had to leave the house to go to work.

It was awful!

About two weeks passed and when I came home everything in the house felt different. I heard boisterous kid laughter out on the patio. They had gotten bored, found a bunch of appliance boxes and, after enrolling some neighbor kids, created a whole circus! Never underestimate the creativity hidden in boredom.

It was grand.

That night we actually sat down to dinner and had a conversation.

When the kids went to bed there was the usual fuss. Three or four times I stalked back to the bedrooms and insisted they quit playing, talking, wandering around and what have you — our usual bedtime routine, except…

On the fourth round I realized the boys were both hiding under the covers with flashlights… reading! Their sister had fallen asleep. Recognizing I had quiet in the house I tiptoed out of little guys’ room without busting them.

It didn't take me too many more nights to figure out that if I pretended not to notice when they were reading, but insisted every other activity cease I might be accomplishing two things — quiet quicker in the evening, which I truly wanted, and help them establish a reading habit.

It worked.

In fact it worked well, almost so well I’m kinda embarrassed to admit how simple it all was. Even today as middle aged adults a book is often the first thing my kids grab.

Love, blessings and abundance.

Writer, life and writing coach, book ghostwriter, Grandmother, Buddhist. Liberal who listens to the other side, political activist-www.DemocracyCounts.org

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store