Don’t Make Me Read Out Loud
I had an interesting experience with one of my young counseling clients recently. Gabe (not his real name) is eight years old, home-schooled and hates to read. He is coming to me to learn to manage his anger so during one session we were reading “Life’s Not Always Fair: A Child’s Guide to Managing Emotions,” a book I wrote (and co-authored with my cocker spaniel Nicholas!). Gabe was excited about the book and that my dog had helped me write it. He wants to learn to control his emotions better and was hopeful he would learn from the book.
Without even thinking, I asked him to read one page and then I would read the next. There was a short hesitation and then he began to read slowly and deliberately. At the end of the first chapter I told him that he pronounced all the words correctly and was a good reader. He beamed.
The following week his mother told me that after the last session he told her that I said he was a good reader. She reported that the next day he read out loud for the very first time without her pushing him. And she couldn’t wait to tell me that he had started to write his very own book using his pet rabbits as characters’much as I had done using Nicholas in my books.
Over the years I’ve had many kids say that when their parents tell them that they did a good job that it doesn’t count as that is what parents are supposed to say. So, it may just be that when another person, unrelated to the child, praises him or her that it becomes more believable for the child. I hope you continue to praise your children for jobs well done, respectful attitudes, helping others, etc. But you also might think if a praise from another person might give your son or daughter the extra encouragement that’s needed. I bet you can make that happen!
Copyright © 2013, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from author.
P.S. Please see my other column The Counselor’s Corner.
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.