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Parents Share Their Secrets For Getting Young Kids To Read Books (18 Tweets)

With so much media competing for their attention, it’s surprising that children even know what books are anymore. I was a voracious reader as a kid myself, but if I’d had social media I would probably have flushed The Secret Garden down the toilet and committed to being TikTok famous full-time. Professor Robert McNees shared his tactic for making sure his kid learns to love the written word and it’s basically a psychological experiment.

He tweeted, “Somehow I’ve lucked out and have an 8yo who thinks secretly reading under the covers past her bedtime is an act of rebellion, and it hasn’t yet occurred to her that her flashlights never seem to run out of batteries.”

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via Twitter/@mcnees

Lots of people swooped in to suggest a headlamp for the little reader, and he says they tried it but she went back to the flashlight. Reading that though, I do wonder if maybe the eight-year-old is aware something’s up. Maybe the kid is letting the parents think they’re pulling one on her. It’s like the Ocean’s 11 of sneaky reading:

Whatever is going on, these dynamics were familiar to many. The story brought back memories of similarly indulgent and sneaky parents who managed to trick their kids into reading by making it seem forbidden and “adult” to enjoy books:

Though there were also some bitter tales of parents who really were trying to keep their kids from reading, either with a bedtime that was restricted or by force-feeding them television instead. I do love television, but forcing kids to watch it like you’re going to church is so co-dependent! Let them have some hobbies, jeez:

Or were they trying to trick their kids into reading by forcefully denying that they could and it went too far? That’s why this is a grift I can’t approve of—not everyone is as suave as George Clooney over here. Just tell your kids they can read and hide the V.C. Andrews.

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