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Any suggestion how to get a 7 yr old to like books instead of video games??

Posted by on May. 1, 2013 at 9:40 PM
  • 26 Replies

First of all I want to add he only is allowed to play his video game on the weekend, and only for a short time. HE LOVES Mario, and Sonic. Well his Daddy told him if he passed his CAT that he would get him a video game. I know he passed but we haven't gotten the results officially so I told my son he had to wait for those to come in. So today while shopping I went by the kids books and asked him if any looked cool. He picked one out. So I said good get it and we can read it a chapter at a time. (My reasoning is that he needs to continue reading while we are on break) Well as soon as I said he had to read it he put it back and said I would rather just get a game. WELL OF COARSE you would, but it aint happening. So I got him the book. My Hubby suggested getting him a game after each book he read. WELL THAT COULD GET EXPENSIVE! So then I thought about letting him play his game for like 15-30 min after each chapter he reads. But I really dislike the idea of his playing his game during the week. What would you do to keep him reading? Would you just force it? Would you allow him the game time in exchange for reading? Or do you have other suggestions?

by on May. 1, 2013 at 9:40 PM
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Replies (1-10):
jeweldragons
by on May. 1, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Some people just hate reading. My brother and 23 year old sister are like that.  Only mom, my grandmother, myself and my 13 year old sister like reading. Don't force him to read because you'll turn him away from reading.  Maybe unplug the tube and gaming systems. Make him go cold turkey on the tube and video games altogether.

KrissyKC
by Silver Member on May. 1, 2013 at 11:14 PM

Reading came natural to us because we read together all the time, we usually hit the library through much of the school year about every two weeks.   My kids get involved in the summer reading programs, the book its, they enjoy a book club...  we do the library events, too.. and I have NEVER once had to say to them, "You have to read it."   It's just assumed that they will devour it because that's what they do.

I know what got them interested in deeper reads/longer reads was doing some good read alouds.  Let them enjoy whatever books they want, but pick some really exciting and challenging ones that I read TO them.  No real effort on their part, but I know when I end the chapter at night they BEG for more.   This gets them looking for these books in the library and voila.

We also get some of their favorites on CD.  No, that's not really reading for them, but it's listening and it can get them into books.   I also have no problems dropping it if it's starting out boring or poorly done.  (Example:  We borrowed an old reading of the Hobbit off the library and the kids could tell they simply hated it.   Better books to listen to include actual different people reading different dialogue.

KrissyKC
by Silver Member on May. 1, 2013 at 11:35 PM
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If your child is hands-on and likes art and such, you could get into doing fun projects with the book.   For example, if the book is say, "How to Eat Fried Worms."   You could make a pretend recipe book and include a good drawing on the front cover.   He could even be creating some of this while you are reading aloud.

Also, giving him things like (simple) legos, pipe cleaners, clay to mold and shape or whatnot while you are reading aloud helps.  My rule for my kids is that they are to be listening, so no making monsters and making them hungrily eat one another while I'm reading aloud.

During tougher read alouds, say for science or social studies, they enjoy taking doodle notes and then sharing the doodles with one another immediately after the read.   They retain some really great details that way.



celticdragon77
by on May. 1, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Kickbuttmama had a good idea that she posted a few weeks ago. I changed it a little and use the idea for my kids. It has worked well so far. 

She used a monetary type system (they earned mommy bucks to rent their electronic devices). I think they rented it for 24hrs - but they couldn't use them during school. I wanted a more limited time frame. My kids can earn up to two hours each day. They also earn an allowance too though - so they have to save for new games. 

My son also is into Mario and sonic - big time! He won't just play the games - he watches videos on YouTube to learn all about the game, characters, cheats, etc. I can't stand seeing how obsessed he is with video games. He even will act like the characters. He talks about the games all the time. 

My son needs other interests! I put that responsibility on myself and will be addressed when I start homeschooling. I have been brainstorming ideas... 

As for reading, make it interesting! Make it seem like an adventure or something. Create an great reading area (google for ideas). My kids, when in Texas, liked that the teachers introduced a new topic in this big grand fun way - and had the kids creatively find ways to express what they had read. 

Your son is still young, and so there are still so many great possibilities. There are some great ideas floating around online. Don't just look to homeschoolers, there are some great teacher inspired ideas as well.

usmom3
by BJ on May. 2, 2013 at 12:07 AM
They have books about everything nowadays so I would go to the library & see if they have story books about the games he likes so much. Also as long as the games are restricted the deep desire to play them will never subside & if you take them away all together he will resent you & reading for the loss of his games. So I think the trade off of read a chapter get to play a game on a weekday for 30 min might be your best motivation.
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CaitsCookies
by on May. 2, 2013 at 12:11 AM
We have educational games for the DS. My SS gets to play those on a daily basis, provided he is getting his responsibilities done. He gets to play while I am satisfied he's having to work on his reading, math, etc.
SarahNElijah
by Member on May. 2, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I wouldn't force reading, because then he won't enjoy it, but I also wouldn't reward with video games as then he will lose sight of the joy of reading.. I allow my kids to each pick two books for me to read at bedtime and my son (about to turn 7) reads one (or one chapter) to us.. He resists a little to reading to us at times but he loves books and loves me to read. :) I would just say find some books he loves and read to him! Books my son likes to read to us include the Henry and Mudge series, High-Rise Private Eyes series, and the Mr. Putter series all by Cynthia Rylant.
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amandae21
by on May. 2, 2013 at 1:06 AM
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Books about video games/game characters? Comics?

IMO you can't make a child love reading. The more you push it, the more he's going to hate it. Maybe resent it. My DD likes to read "real" books, but she also enjoys book-sized comics.

amandae21
by on May. 2, 2013 at 1:08 AM

I used to HATE reading! I don't know how I made it through high school because I swear I never read a single book from English. None.

But then, as an adult, I discovered that I LOVE reading. Just not the crap they tried to make me read in PS.

Quoting jeweldragons:

Some people just hate reading. My brother and 23 year old sister are like that.  Only mom, my grandmother, myself and my 13 year old sister like reading. Don't force him to read because you'll turn him away from reading.  Maybe unplug the tube and gaming systems. Make him go cold turkey on the tube and video games altogether.



tnt-manda
by on May. 2, 2013 at 1:53 AM
I hear ya, I have 3 boys, 10,7,3. I was in this same boat, my oldest would'nt read anymore than he had too, and add 7 he was just building confidence in reading. We started going to the library (huge help) I let them pick out whatever books they want and then movies. (movies are the treat) My oldest likes weather so thats where he started. The 7yr old likes picture books so I just let him get some and then I show him his age appropriate books. The first few times I don't think they even pulled books out of the library bag the whole time. I just kept encouraging (not forcing) I take the library bag in the car on errands. (when they are bored, they will pick them up, they have no other options) I do try to designate a specific reading time weekly too. About six months into our library visits they are active readers. The 7 yr old mostly reads picture books to little brother. (He's helping him learn. :)) He now is moving on to Captain Underpants series, gross but perfect for a boy, and now that they have watched Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies they found the books today, and were fighting reading it back and fourth. Never thought I'd see the day. Just be patient, encourage, make reading books avaliable to him, keep limiting the video games and he will come around.

Still my kids would pick video games over reading any day but they enjoy reading too. It foes'nt have to be one or the other just a balance. Good Luck!
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