Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Reverse psychology still works

I tricked her into reading a real book - a good book and a thick book - not just one of her kiddie pocket thrillers or books of facts that she can finish while soaking in the tub. The challenge, as usual, was to make her want to read it. Really want to read it. Beg me to let her read it. She’ll catch on one of these days to my schemes.
Reading didn’t come as quickly to her as it did to some of the other grandchildren in the family. I was a little worried for a while there. Oh, she could read single words and often a few strung together but book reading - that skill took a little longer but when it came, it came overnight. One day, as if a lightbulb turned on, she could read. And like her momma, she reads everything from cereal boxes to shampoo bottles. Always with a book in hand and about a dozen in the back seat of the car.
She prefers the quick reads, probably due to a very short attention span. She selects her books from the synopsis on the back and the picture on the front. If neither are exciting - forget it. If neither are scary - forget it too, although she often enjoys books written for younger kids or those with inferior reading skills. I tell her to read those while we are in the store. I’m not paying for a book that she’ll finish before we can get to the car in the parking lot.
Sometimes I can coerce, trick or bribe her into reading something I know she’d enjoy but pooh-poohs as "boring." ("Boring" with the fingers in the air doing the quotes kind of boring) More often than not, she winds up loving the book. Yesterday was one of those times. I’m so pleased.
Now, I only wish I could trick her into wanting to put them back on the shelves.


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