David Woodland, a father, needed a plan in order to instill a love of reading into his oldest child. But after sharing his successful plan with Twitter, there have been some mixed reactions towards it.
As Woodland wrote on Twitter, his plan involved books, money, and making sure his son never suspected a thing. So here’s how it works, every time his kid reads a chapter book of at least 160 pages from cover to cover they give him one dollar.
So far, his son has accumulated over $120 by reading books and for Woodland, the best part is, he doesn’t realize his dad is enjoying giving that money away.
“We pay my oldest $1 every time he reads a book. We’re talking 160-page chapter books,” Woodland wrote on Twitter. “I’m out $120 this year and he thinks he’s ripping me off. Best investment ever.”
But that’s only one part of this particular parenting hack to get your child to enjoy reading. In a second sub-tweet, Woodland wrote that they also allow their son to break his bedtime if he’s engaged in a good book.
“The second trick is: he has a strict bedtime, but can stay up late if he is reading books.” However, as the dad revealed his secrets to the public, he admitted that he had no idea that encouraging a love of books would be so “controversial.”
“Didn’t realize ‘encouraging reading’ could be such a controversial topic, so I’ll end on this: He’s a great kid and thrives in academics and sports. More importantly, he is a loving older brother/friend/son. I am proud to be his dad. Don’t worry about my kid! He will be okay!”
So what did some people find so controversial?
Well, some people believe that “artificial incentives kill the joys of learning,” one commenter wrote. “Makes it transactional. Please try to teach the joy of learning instead (intrinsic).”
“And when he’s not going to get paid for reading anymore, he’s not going to love reading books anymore. Extrinsic motivation like that doesn’t create a real joy and will of learning,” someone else added.
“Paying your kids for eating veggies/reading/doing homework is a classic parenting mistake. See motivational theory & Alfie Kohn,” a third wrote on Twitter.
However, some even shared their own parents’ techniques. “My parents would double any money we got as a gift if we spent it on books. Worked like a charm,” one person wrote. “My first-grade teacher would take me out to ice cream for every 10 books I read,” another added.
In the end, despite some of the criticism, Woodland wrote that he was “just glad my ‘internet moment’ was about me trying to be a good dad. What do you think of this parenting technique?
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.