My son’s school has set up a reading challenge in order to encourage children to read more at home. All they have to do is read 3 times, no specified time limit or number of pages, as long as it’s with a parent. They have a diary to complete which we, parents, sign as proof. This is checked every friday by their teacher and if the chid has 3 signatures, they win a small prize (sweets, stationary etc). Sounds easy, doesn’t it? And at first my son was really enthusiastic but very quickly the novelty wore off. So he came to me one friday morning before school:
Son: Mummy, can you sign my reading diary for yesterday so I can get a prize today?
Me: But you didn’t read to me yesterday.
Son: Yeah, but… I’ll read extra on Monday.
Me: I’m not going to lie to your teacher.
Son: He wont know!
Me: That’s not the point. Do you think it’s right for me to lie?
Son: No but I read the other 2 days and that’s more than some kids in my class do.
Me: I don’t care about the other kids! What will I be teaching you if I lie and sign your diary?
Son: Urm…. Urm…. That you’re the best mum in the whole world!
Do you think I signed the diary?
Sadly, yes! Ok, I know – I’m a softy! But his words win me over every time!
I did however, tell him he would read as soon as he got home from school that day for 30 minutes or there would be a PlayStation ban that would last the whole weekend. That’s enough to scare any child in my house!
I promise I’ll become tougher as they get older.
Or at least… I’ll try!