We Found a Simple Way to Get Kids off Screens and Read
Our kids are like all kids and most adults. They like screens. iPad, TV, Nintendo Switch, whatever it is, they are all over it. They weren't all over books. We were looking for a way to change that. The way we got it to happen was really simple.
The first step was a good one. My wife came up with a list of chores they had to complete after school each day before they could get screen time. Things like unpacking lunch boxes, showing us papers from school, then doing an assigned daily chore. This was before my boys got a Switch.
My wife then had the idea to mandate 20 minutes of reading every day before screen time. They don't have to do it right away, they can go outside and play first, but before screens, they have to read for 20 minutes. Enforcing this on a couple of boys who are my offspring had to be close and rigid. After getting home with them I would do my thing and they would do their thing and lie when we asked if they read.
Monday I came up with a really simple way of making the rule stick. I read with them. I always have a book I'm working on and before bed, I'm usually too tired to read more than four pages, so it was an excuse to get back to the book I've been reading off and on.
So once we sit down in the living room and start reading the timer starts. When the 20 minutes is up, we go do whatever we like. It's working great! Granted, we are only four days into this little habit but so far it's sticking and today I found I was looking forward to my scheduled 20 minutes with my book. I just made it part of my day. No one of my boys just started reading his third Dogman book and I think we'll have to get some more, which is fine with me.
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