Bribes don’t work when it comes to children & reading

August 7, 2016

no briberyParents often resort to bribery to get their children to read, but studies show rewards backfire. “If you pay kids to read you’ll get them to read,” said Edward Deci, the author of “Why We Do What We Do” and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. “They’ll continue to read until you end the experiment, and then they’ll stop.” Rewards encourage children to think of reading as something you have to be paid to do, not something that brings pleasure in itself, he says.

Timing is important when it comes to developing reading fluency.
Fumiko Hoeft, a cognitive neuroscientist and psychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, has found that the growth of particular neural pathways when children are young is critical to reading success.

If parents do want to offer rewards for reading, Dr. Briggs said, 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 that the alone time is part of what’s rewarding about it.” Such nonmaterial rewards may be the most effective.

The “bribe” of an excursion with a parent, or of special time reading together or discussing a book, conveys the importance of reading, said Dr. Ryan. “When we set aside time for reading, or set limits on other activities, we’re showing our children that we support them in developing an important skill.”

Every child’s inalienable right

July 19, 2016

If only I could— I would ask that every child who comes into the world be granted their personal fairy godmother who will make sure children have loving parents and caregivers read to them. Simply stated, it should be every child’s inalienable right, but all too often the reality is something different. The nurturing and […]


Give your children a solid launch—grounded in safety and love—into the world

July 17, 2016

No matter how old or young your children are, I hope they never outgrow the desire and need to be read to. They will leave the world of a safe and loving childhood, but the experiencing of being read to is a felt memory that will anchor them in life. When they have children of […]


Conversations build a child’s brain

July 10, 2016

A child’s brain is built word by word. We have the data that supports the importance of early childhood education for future success in and out of school. We also have the economics behind the benefits of early education because less money is later spent on juvenile courts, prisons, health care and welfare says James […]


Reading a book to a child sends them a love letter that will last forever.

June 26, 2016

How many love letters have you received in your life? Have you saved them? No grown up ever forgets the love they felt when they were read to as a child. The intimacy that lives inside a shared reading experience is not something one forgets. Recalling childhood reading and their impact is to saunter down […]


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