Saturday, June 7, 2008

He can read, and write, see?

A few weeks ago my husband said I had to talk to my mom. We resolved a long time ago that as a grandpa & grandma/free babysitters, we were going to have to let a lot of things go that we perhaps maybe didn't quite agree with. They love them dearly and keep them safe, and who could ask for more than that? So what prompted this? We found out my mom was paying Keegan to read books. I of course chickened out and never talked to her, but it's become an obsession. Not just that he read, but that he learn all the fairy tales and old stories, so they are "getting rid of the baby books."

Now I actually had the same thought - they tend to latch on to the Spongebob and Dora and David books, and my thought is as long as they are reading/listening, it's all good But what about Hansel and Gretel, The Little Red Hen, Chicken Little? (Speaking of Chicken Little, I had my first exposure to a "modernized" version, where nobody dies they just all end up at the King's, that's no fun.) I got a few of Grimm's Fairy Tales from the library, and grim is right. But I figure if they can handle Pokemon and Transformer battles, what's a little man eager to steal a princess's first child?

But the woman is obsessed, first offering a Pokemon card for each book he reads, then telling him no more Pokemon until he reads all the new books. She doesn't let up and the alarm bells are ringing in my head - I want him to love reading, not be forced into it. I know Grandma is a pushover at heart, so that's unlikely to happen, but it was getting on my nerves, and I was so concerned my husband would freak out later. So instead of the direct approach, I started giving examples of his reading prowess. I usually avoid that since he hears it enough from the other family members, but this mama is pretty darn proud of her son, especially when he composes something like this, which is a birthday card for a little boy he's hardly even met - since the birthday boy in question actually goes to preschool with my other son, but we were all invited to the party.

Translated it reads: "Happy Birthday Owen. Congratulations. Thank you for inviting us to your birthday. We got you nice presents."

And here's the one Donovan and I made.

I can so remember the days when I begged and pleaded for them just to color a little on a card. But the stars were aligned for this day. They even wrapped the presents themselves.


  1. Thoughts in teaching revolve around the Pizza Hut Book-it program as "creating a bunch of fat kids who don't like to read." We'd rather reward reading with reading. You can approach this at home by letting your son know how much fun reading is -- that might overcome the "forced" bit at Grandma's. Good luck!

  2. I love the cards. :) That's a rough one and I'm not sure how I would handle it. Maybe when he is at home, you could let him pick out his own books to read at night? Let him read to you. I'm with Daisy in that I don't particularly like the reward system your mom has but I do like the idea of rewarding him with a book. Perhaps one he picks out on his very own. Good luck!

  3. Ah the grandparent battle. I'm right there with you. I constantly have to remind my parents and in-laws all the time that
    1. they are no longer the parent. I am now.
    2. that they never would have done this when I was a kid, so why now?

    Good times.

  4. Thanks all. I like the book rewards idea, in fact we're signing up for the library book club - 1 free book after reading 10. And I've offered one more for every 10 he reads, just no pokemon books. It's amazing how much they spoil the kids compared to us :)