And I think that one reason is that I often take the easy route instead of the healthy one.
Let’s say he has 10 minutes before his baseball game – he’s starving, but he’s late. “Mom! I’m hungry!” I will usually make him crackers and cheese or a give him a granola bar.
Because I know that if I offer him a banana or an apple I’m going to get, “I’m not hungry for that!” A big hassle. And while we argue, the clock is ticking and before you know it we’re even later.
My husband, on the other hand, can tell him, “Grab a banana” and although he’ll whine, my son will eat it. Because he’s learned that with daddy, that’s a snack. Daddy stands firm.
This can apply to reading.
Like last night, the Stanley Cup Playoffs were on. The Stanley. Cup. Playoffs. (If you’re Canadian you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, you can imagine.)
But I could see that my son was tired and needed to get into his bed. So rather than cave into his demand to watch the game, which would have meant he’d be up for another half an hour, I told him that he could read for 10 minutes in bed.
He did whine. I insisted. He whined some more (seriously, the Stanley Cup playoffs!). I stayed the course. Bedtime, and as a treat you can read for 10 minutes. The implied threat was that if there was any more whining I’d take away the reading. (Which I’d never do, but he doesn’t read this blog so he doesn’t know that.)
So he read for a bit. And because he really was tired, he went to sleep.
And in the morning, I had a kid who was well-rested. (And had to be told that the Blackhawks had won the Stanley Cup in overtime.)
Getting kids reading can be really hard. But it’s worth it.