In last blog we saw how reading habit was developed. But nothing is constant in this world. The reading journey which had begun so well faced rough waters. Now internet videos, mobile games were giving tough competition. There came a time when my kiddo had almost stopped reading and was not interested in doing anything apart from watching videos or playing mobile games.
My little kiddo was a big boy. And the big boy had a string of endless arguments in favour of games and videos. I had already realized that arguments and mere discussions are not going to be of much use. Nor complete ban on internet and mobile would work. It was time for direct action.
My son is a big fan of Harry Potter movies (like his mother 😜). I took advantage of this fact and told him that most of the movies had deviated from the books and they had changed couple of plots in each movie. So I set him a task of finding out these differences. This move met with some success. My son read first 3 books and that was something because he read the books in the first place and moreover he read fiction books which he had been refusing to do hitherto.My kid loves competition. And if that competition is with Mamma and he can beat his Mamma at it then he loves that competition even better!! Now I decided to have reading competition between mother and son. He readily agreed and we started reading Harry Potter series again. This time he completed all 7 books and one play. The competition spirit had haunted him. Every day his lead was increasing by more than 100 pages. At one point I started suspecting that he was skipping pages and cheating me. But how to find out?? Again I had simple idea. We started having Harry Potter quizzes. I was glad to know that my son had not skipped pages!! In fact he enjoyed these quizzes so much that even when our competition is over we continue to have these quizzes during dinner time, during traveling or even in restaurants waiting for food.
Similarly, Enid Blyton’e riddle series was completed. I started keeping tab on newly published Gerenimo Stilton’s books and buy him latest book.
My son is studying in IGCSC curriculum school where they don’t teach local history much. I wanted him to read about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his history. But it was not his favored topic. One day I got opportunity. My kid saw saffron flag gifted to his cousin and demanded similar big saffron flag. I agreed to buy the same with a precondition that he would read biography of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who established Maratha empire under saffron flag. And yes, he read.
That’s how the reading came back!! If we had not eliminated internet and mobile completely we had at least curtailed it to some extent. Now mostly we try to have reading hour before going to bed.
One needs to be really clever while dealing with such situations. Merely telling or scolding does not work. There is no one solution that fits all. Every kid is different. You need to understand your own kid and then plan activities. We knew that competition works well with my kiddo and I simply used this fact to my advantage. My last mantra is try to bring some challenges/ activities based on reading so that it becomes a game rather than purely boring activity. Happy Reading!!
As we have seen in the earlier blogs my kid was interested in stories where he could correlate rather than fiction and particularly in science. Follow my blog to know more about when the kiddo decides to tell a story!!