Can I have the phone? Can I have the phone? Can I have the phone?
This common refrain around our house drives me nuts, leads to fights, general grumpiness and lectures.
As a family that has avoided technology with our kids – at some point the lure of video games and my phone became a part of our daily life.
Do I regret this?
Do I admit that sometimes it gives me time to get things done or just have some peace? Or time to read my own books?
I want my kids to read – after all, I have a book blog and reading is my favorite pastime. But its something we have to work on.
Calvin reads in bed every night – just like his mama. I love how he keeps his favorites/current selections in a pile at the end of his bed. Max sometimes reads in bed but often falls asleep when his head hits the pillow.
I recently revisited my 2015 post How I Get My Kids to Read because I was thinking about all this.
It seems back then the TV was my obstacle. This made me feel better.
I realized I use some of the same tactics:
- We still go to bookstores.
- We still go to the library but now the library computers beckon. I combat this by picking out books for them or making them get a book before using the computer. Or we visit the downtown library to mix things up.
- I used to pick them up from school with surprise books tailored to their interests. I no longer pick them up so now I stop on my way home from work. Calvin loves graphic novels. Max loves animal, sports and Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid books. They both love Guinness Book of World Record kid books and anything with amazing facts.
Sometimes it works.
Here’s what doesn’t work like it used too:
- They no longer seem as interested in my blog. Maybe at age 9, it’s not so cool that mama has a blog.
- We still read together in my bed but when I tried it last week, they fought about needing more space for their growing (and more stinky) bodies.
It’s a series of successes and failures:
- Fails – I tried to get them to listen to me reading Harry Potter out loud. Calvin would rather read to himself. Max, I think, was doing it just for me.
- Win – Sometimes they bring up books in real life. Calvin and I read Little White Duck by Na Lui and he brought it up one day when we were talking about China.
- Win – Christmas morning they actually cuddled up and read their new books.
I think that equates to technology – one, mama – two.
What do you do to get your kids to read? Let me know – maybe it’s another blog post!