|I shamelessly staged this photo.|
Sometimes I bribe my children. I prefer to call it an incentive, because that sounds better and I don't feel like a bad parent.
Back when I was in fourth grade, I hated to read. One day my dad went to a parent teacher conference, and Mrs. Ertel told him that I needed to improve my reading skills. She suggested paying me a "penny a page" for a while, and then maybe I would like reading more. My mom and dad were not sure what to think about that, but they gave it a try. One day, after I had read almost every Beverly Cleary book ever written and probably several other books as well, I told my dad that he owed me $20. He was kind of shocked, but he paid me, and after that I liked to read just for the fun of it and did it for free. Now you would have to pay me to stop reading, but I'd probably just sneak books under my covers with a flashlight.
At any rate, I decided to use this method with my children during Kindergarten when they were emergent readers, and I pay them through the second grade. They receive a penny a page or sometimes a penny a minute, depending on the book, and we keep a log. I currently pay Jason about $5-6 per month. I happen to think it's a good investment even if it is
I use incentives for the dentist, too. A friend of mine once gave her son a Nintendo DS for not having any cavities, because she said it was cheaper than a dentist's bill for a filling. Well, there's no way my kids are getting game systems out of me, but after Josh got a couple cavities, I started paying him and his brother $5 a piece when they visit the dentist and get a "no cavities" report. It saves time, money, and pain, and I figure they are learning very good brushing and flossing skills through this incentive program.
Are you judging me yet?? I really wouldn't blame you.
It is the price I pay for having literate children with shiny white teeth. Bless you, Mrs. Ertel, wherever you may be.