For the past 3 years, I (Missy) have been trying to get the Bonus Kids addicted to reading like I was as a child. It is quite a difficult challenge when you have to compete against other reinforcers such as television, iPads, and DS-es.
I thought I had tried everything. But then, I remembered that I am a behavior analyst. Hello! As behavior analysts, we change behaviors.
In this scenario, I did not need to teach the girls to read, their teachers had already done that. I wanted them to want to read. I needed to make reading reinforcing. How do you do that? You read a darn good story and get them hooked on it. We started with The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. (You can read my review here). It was a hit. Our night-time reading ritual took off!
Then, we started “Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret“. The girls begged me to read each night (instead of begging for television!). I have to admit, I found the book challenging at times. For example, I tried to ad lib over the part about Playboy but Beanie was reading over my shoulder and caught me. “That’s not what it says!” Then she wanted to know, “What is Playboy?” How is that for a bed time conversation?
We definitely had a cool moment when we came across the daily exercise and chant, “We must, we must…..” When Baby Cakes told her Nana about it, Nana finished the chant before Baby Cakes could! Baby Cakes was shocked that Nana knew The Chant! (You see, that is what is so amazing about Judy Blume. She writes timeless stories. Events in her book resonated across 3 generations of women. We were 3/4 of the way through the book when Beanie asked, “When was this book written? Margaret hasn’t talked about her iTouch or iPad.”)
As I read the final pages of the book, I got choked up when I came to the phrase, “I GOT IT!”. I looked up and Beanie was wiping away a few glistening tears. Thank you Judy Blume for helping me love books and for helping my Bonus Girls begin to love them too.
Most Reinforcing Books for Children?
So, now I need help from our readers. Please share some of the titles of the most reinforcing books for children. I need to grow our “To Read” list so that I can keep those reinforcers coming.
We are linking up again this week over at yeah write. We prefer to hang out. Hop on over there and check out the other blogs. If you are up for a challenge, you should also check out the challenge grid. Don’t forget to vote on the challenge grid on Thursday.