Our tech-centric society has prompted more and more people to put down the novel and pick up the iPhone or handheld video game. Young children are especially vulnerable to these flashier, more visually engaging forms of entertainment, despite the intrinsic benefits of reading.
Fortunately, The New York Times' KJ Dell'Antonia has come up with a way to bolster the book in the face of Candy Crush and X-Box: good old-fashioned bribery—or nonmaterial bribery, more specifically. "If parents want to offer rewards for reading … they don't necessarily have to be money, treats or toys. It could be that it's a special thing to go to the library with Dad, and the alone time is part of what's rewarding about it," said Dr. Rahil Briggs, director of pediatric behavioral health at Montefiore Medical Center in an interview with the Times.
Dr. Briggs warns against material rewards because the kids will soon see reading as something they get rewarded for, not something they should enjoy. "The 'bribe' of an excursion with a parent, or of special time reading together or discussing a book, conveys the importance of reading."
How do you make sure your kids read enough? Share your tips below and pick up this book on raising smart and successful children.