My sec 2 son and reading

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

My sec 2 son and reading

Postby prancingpony » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:46 am

Unlike my dh and I, my ds does not like reading much. I had read to him from a very young age and had loved doing it but somehow he does not seem to pick up the habit. I can't think why. He's very selective and it's hard to make him pick up a book though when he finds one that he likes he reads it very fast. As such, his essays are not fantastic and his vocabulary is, of course, limited. He prefers spending his free time playing computer games. I regret somewhat for not being strict enough about reading as he was getting older, but can one really force someone to read? I have read some of his friends' blog which their school made them do and some of them were just fantastic. I wish ds could write that well. Any pointers to make him like reading? He's in sec 2 (is it too late?). :(

prancingpony
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:42 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby orchids » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:10 pm

Just to share....

My dh loves to read so does my daughter. I do read but not the avid type (my niece takes after me in this aspect).

So, I personally believe that genes play a big role in determining our children's traits. Sometimes, you could see our children bearing traits of their grandparents, aunts or uncles.

Ultimately, I feel that you can encourage your ds to read books of his interest but forcing him to read is just not right.

orchids
OrangeBelt
OrangeBelt
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:45 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby prancingpony » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:37 pm

Yes, i know orchids. Using force won't get him anywhere. I guess i have to try and still encourage and hopefully he'll pick up the habit,

I must admit i am disappointed. My siblings and i, we grew up with all kinds of books in our home and my dh's family too, and here my one and only child does not seem to follow. :D

prancingpony
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:42 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: My sec 2 son and reading

Postby znzyzyzx » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:51 pm

prancingpony wrote:Unlike my dh and I, my ds does not like reading much. I had read to him from a very young age and had loved doing it but somehow he does not seem to pick up the habit. I can't think why. He's very selective and it's hard to make him pick up a book though when he finds one that he likes he reads it very fast. As such, his essays are not fantastic and his vocabulary is, of course, limited. He prefers spending his free time playing computer games. I regret somewhat for not being strict enough about reading as he was getting older, but can one really force someone to read? I have read some of his friends' blog which their school made them do and some of them were just fantastic. I wish ds could write that well. Any pointers to make him like reading? He's in sec 2 (is it too late?). :(

If he can use the computer freely as and when he likes then it is very unlikely that he will pick up a book to read.

My kids love to read but when they are allowed to use the computer and DS during the holiday then you won't see them picking up the books.

znzyzyzx
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:45 am
Total Likes: 0


Postby Chenonceau » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:20 pm

[Editor's note: Article selected for Portal publication.]
If you are skilful enough, there is a way to get someone who doesn't like to read, to like it very much.

It works by creating psychological association. It is best illustrated by Pavlov's experiment. Pavlov rang a bell every time he fed the dog. After a while, the dog salivated every time he heard the sound of a bell.

I have never tried this with Sec 2 because I am not an educational psychologist... but if it works with adults and with Little Boy, it should work with a teen (I think). like it or not, even if we aren't dogs, we do respond to similar operant conditioning.

Little Boy didn't particularly enjoy reading. The Daughter took to reading with great pleasure. Wearing pampers, she would bring a book to any willing adult and get it read to her. Little Boy yawned whenever we read to him.

I made sure that bedtime was everything nice. Good ambience, nice glass of milk, aircon, cuddles, tickles, laughs... I also junked his sister's library in favour of books on firemen, soldiers etc... that made his heart beat faster. He soon learnt to like being read to. Reading and happiness went together.

I then had a problem. He wouldn't read by himself because being read to was so nice. So I forced things a bit. I made him read a bit every day to me. This developed competence. I was careful to choose books he liked adventures and pets and Science. I kept away most toys and when he was bored, he started to relieve his boredom by reading.

Then I waited for THE DAY... the opportunity that cannot be crafted... that you must watch and wait for, and make the most of it. That day came when he was a little ill and I kept him home. He picked up a book spontaneously (SPONTANEITY is an important condition). He was somewhat engrossed in the book, and I hit the iron whilst it was hot.

I proposed that even if he was sick, we would go to Borders and buy ANY book he chose (CHOICE is important). We went down. It was different than the school routine so the heart beats a bit faster already. We had a nice lunch at Sakae Sushi so Little Boy was happy (heart beat faster also). The increased heart beat (from happiness, not fear) is another important condition.

Then, at Borders, I followed him around the store and if he took even one Famous Five book, I pulled out whatever else of Famous Five were there. We came home with Famous Five, Secret Seven and a one or two other sets... Buying things makes people happy. That mound of books we lugged home made him really happy.

It was elation he felt at the end of the day. It was due to everything... from a happy outing to a good lunch to a major acquisition. The feelings were so intense that there was a psychological imprint and because the mound of books was a tangible THING he could touch and feel (whilst lunch and outings were intangibles), the whole bundle of emotions became associated with BOOKS.

From that day on specifically, Little Boy fell in love with reading. He likes the smell of new books, and when he is sad, he will pick up a book to make himself feel better. Till today, even if he can read, he still likes to negotiate a passage or 2 out of me at bedtime.

The trick is to create intense feelings of joy and make it such that books are there in the vicinity somewhere so that an association happens. For teens, maybe you need girlfriends? Haha! But then... oh no... girlfriends are tangible realities too. Won't work with girlfriends.

Certainly, you can't do exactly what I did... but the principle is to create an emotional association that the unreasoning mind attributes to books because books are there. Strategizing and implementing the strategy is difficult though because you need to know your child.

What makes your child CRAZY happy (which at the same time possesses no tangible form)?

This thing even works when trying to get people to fall in love. In a famous experiment, men were asked to walk over a heavily shaking suspension bridge. In the middle, they met a girl... and at the end, they rated how attractive the girl was. Those with heightened heartbeats tended to rate the girl as more attractive... confusing their heightened adrenaline from the excitement of crossing the bridge, with the tangible person standing in the middle.

Maybe that is why fairytale heros always marry the lady they braved through danger to save? For all you know, Rapunzel could be REALLY ugly but her prince fell in love after climbing that awful tower (almost plunging down and killing himself)... and why did SHREK fall in love with Fiona, and Lord Farquhar didn't huh?

Heeeeeeeeee! But I think with a teen... it can be hard to implement this. You'll need to be very resourceful and skilful at manipulating the conditions.

Chenonceau
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 4872
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:57 pm
Total Likes: 19



Postby carebear » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:19 am

Hi prancing pony, my DS who is in Sec2 does not like to read!
I have tried all sorts of ways to inculcate the readind interest in him but have failed.
He is so unlike my DD who is a compulsive reader.
She reads whenever she can, which includes during meal times, in the toilet, etc.

What Chenonceau said is true.
For this group of young people, reading must be associated with some form of incentive or pleasure.
Was thinking that if there was some contest that require them to read a certain text, then participate in the contest to win prizes, then it may stimulate them to read?

carebear
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 1034
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:38 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby Faun » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:04 pm

carebear wrote:Hi prancing pony, my DS who is in Sec2 does not like to read!
I have tried all sorts of ways to inculcate the readind interest in him but have failed.
He is so unlike my DD who is a compulsive reader.
She reads whenever she can, which includes during meal times, in the toilet, etc.

What Chenonceau said is true.
For this group of young people, reading must be associated with some form of incentive or pleasure.
Was thinking that if there was some contest that require them to read a certain text, then participate in the contest to win prizes, then it may stimulate them to read?


My ds used to read alot in Primary school. Now he reads very little. Firstly, there's not much time left after all the busy school work and activities. There is no way to force a teen to do something. They're not easily taken by incentives too. They need to find their own relevance in things they need/want to do. I can only remind him the importance of reading for prior knowledge which is so useful when doing writing or comprehension work. I'm not worried, prefer to follow the flow of things. It's fortunate that he read much in his primary days. The foundation years are important.

Reading books is an enjoyment. To read to win a prize, hmm.... :?

Faun
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:17 am
Total Likes: 0


Re: My sec 2 son and reading

Postby kuzco » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:25 am

prancingpony wrote:Unlike my dh and I, my ds does not like reading much. I had read to him from a very young age and had loved doing it but somehow he does not seem to pick up the habit. I can't think why. He's very selective and it's hard to make him pick up a book though when he finds one that he likes he reads it very fast. As such, his essays are not fantastic and his vocabulary is, of course, limited. He prefers spending his free time playing computer games. I regret somewhat for not being strict enough about reading as he was getting older, but can one really force someone to read? I have read some of his friends' blog which their school made them do and some of them were just fantastic. I wish ds could write that well. Any pointers to make him like reading? He's in sec 2 (is it too late?). :(


I have a Sec 2 ds also who also doesn't like reading. He doesn't even like picking up the newspaper to find out what's going locally, not to mention around the world. He only reads the comics section. :P Similarly, he is very selective and reads only what really interests him. Free time is spent on the xbox, youtube, facebooking, msn, etc. :x

But I have noticed that ds will pick up a book if it is related to a movie or tv programme that interests in. Movies like IronMan got him interested in reading the book. So did tv programmes like Dexter, which he now looks for the books in the library. Another programme Lie to Me, made him interested in books in body language.

Maybe you can observe what topics interests him and then try to lead him to books with such topics.

Right now, I'm just happy that ds picks the occasional book that interests him. Well, at least it's better than not picking up any books at all.

kuzco
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:58 am
Total Likes: 0



Return to Working With Your Child