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Aibu to make my 13 yo earn pocket money by...

(27 Posts)
NoonarAgain Sat 16-Jan-16 12:39:20

...reading for 20 minutes a day? She is nearly 14 and is screen obsessed. She never reads, ever. She does no clubs / extra curricular at all. She feels like I get at her and am critical of her sedentary ways and lack of hobbies.
I've just about given up on clubs etc but aibu to put my foot down about the reading?

Seeyounearertime Sat 16-Jan-16 12:40:53

so instead of sitting still looking at a screen you want her to sit still and read a book?

NoonarAgain Sat 16-Jan-16 12:43:25

The sedentary thing is not my biggest concern, it's the lack of non screen based interests. She gets a reasonable amount of exercise at school/ walking.
I should've made my op clearer, I accept that I can't 'force' interests but I feel very strongly that reading shouldn't be optional.

froggyjump Sat 16-Jan-16 12:46:38

can she earn screen time by doing non screen time? we used to say 30 mins outdoors = 30 mins x box when our older boys were younger.

Seeyounearertime Sat 16-Jan-16 12:48:07

Reading what?

Is Orson Wells more "valuable" than JK Rowling?
is Shakespear worth more than Jackie Collins?
Where does Stephen King fit into that scale?

I don't necessarily disagree that reading is important, i do disagree with the optional part.

think of it this way.
If some spent 5 hours reading 50 shades of Grey or 5 hours reading Wikipedia, who will have learnt more?

fredfredgeorgejnrsnr Sat 16-Jan-16 12:52:01

Punishing her or even paying her to do something is not the way to teach someone to love something, it's the way to demonstrate that it has no value in itself.

Reading is not optional, I'm sure her "screen" is not just showing her pictures, but actual words too.

theycallmemellojello Sat 16-Jan-16 12:54:51

Ahh it's a tough one. I wouldn't be happy if I had a non-reading child, but at the same time I don't approve of financial rewards for stuff like this. Can you just limit screen time and insist she read a novel a week or whatever? I mean like just laying down the law. If she's not allowed screentime hopefully she'll be bored enough to read anyway. You could increase pocket money if you feel bad about being draconian, but not make it a payment if you see what I mean.

SpaceDinosaur Sat 16-Jan-16 12:58:33

What screens is she fixed to?

Turning off wifi probably help.
Just make it a "wifi is off from xxxx daily"

I wouldn't pay her to read. Just remove the screens and let her choose what to do with her screen free time

knobblyknee Sat 16-Jan-16 12:59:38

If she can free read then YABU. Reading for pleasure is a joy, but not everyone gets it.

If it were me, I'd have her read something different every time to try to engage her interest. I'd pick out a few amusing or interesting pages from a different book each time.

itsstillgood Sat 16-Jan-16 12:59:50

Yes. There would be no better way to turn her off completely and to ensure that she will become an adult who doesn't read.
Far better would be finding a way to limit screens either by switching off the WiFi or by distracting her. Do you just tell her to do other stuff or do you try to get her to do stuff with you? My teenager like majority would live on screens but doesn't need that much persuasion for board game/table tennis/family tv spell provided I don't over do it.

BackforGood Sat 16-Jan-16 13:02:43

I wouldn't 'pay' her to read, no.
However, as a parent, I would remove the screen(s) and let her find something else to do.

Redglitter Sat 16-Jan-16 13:04:48

YABU Some people are readers some aren't. You can pretty much guarantee forcing her to read will mean once she's old enough she'll not pick up another book. You're going to turn it from something enjoyable into a chore.

If she's not into books don't push it.

NoonarAgain Sat 16-Jan-16 13:05:57

Oh gawd. This is difficult.

In pretty sure the words she reads on Instagram aren't extending her vocabulary, Fred.

I bought her a kindle. She read one book on it 2 years ago.

Backstory... Sorry to drop feed! I reinstated Instagram after an issue we had with it. She accepted reading as part of the condition to getting Instagram back. But she hasn't stuck to it. If I delete Instagram she will go ballistic so I was looking for another way to get her reading.

I've researched some really exciting age appropriate books which I just know she'd love if she have them a chance. Spent ages at waterstones getting advice but the books just gather dust.

I like the idea of 30 mins screen in return for 30 mind something else but would find that exhausting to monitor.

SuperCee7 Sat 16-Jan-16 13:06:48

Is she given unlimited screen time? Limit her screen time and she'll find other ways of entertaining by herself

G1veMeStrength Sat 16-Jan-16 13:07:29

It's tricky. Is she still young enough for you to say 'no screens'? I'd probably say she needs to read for x minutes to earn screen time but not sure if that's a bit patronising for a 14 yo. Does she see you reading much? I've decided to try and read more and MN less when DC are with me, to set a better example.

Redglitter Sat 16-Jan-16 13:08:42

You can't force her to enjoy reading though if it's not something she enjoys. You're risking putting her off reading for good

NoonarAgain Sat 16-Jan-16 13:09:28

Any response to my dripfeed? Was I wrong to include reading as a condition?
I should also say that the school have set a certain amount of reading homework which she doesn't do.

NoonarAgain Sat 16-Jan-16 13:11:01

I read loads does dh and dd2.
I can theoretically say no screen time but it's a constAnt battle.

CookieDoughKid Sat 16-Jan-16 13:14:30

I don't see much educational value in Instagram sorry and I work for a leading tech company. How about newspapers or magazines of interest? A trip to library together? I would not pay pocket money for screen time. I'd say shed have to earn it by reading something on paper or kindle to have screen time. X2 minutes reading in exchange for x1 minute screen time and I'd disable WiFi. But I'm harsh like that and my kids know what they cannot get away with in my house.

Seeyounearertime Sat 16-Jan-16 13:15:54

Sorry OP, it sounds like youre trying to force a teenager to do something she doesnt enjoy just because you enjoy it.

The more you push, the more she'll push back.

the fact she isnt doing her homework is what you can justifiably, imo, take issue with.
No screen time unless homework is done, or similar.

EponasWildDaughter Sat 16-Jan-16 13:22:03

Yep, i'd say that i was going to limit screen time because she's not doing homework.

NOT you can have your screen back when the homework is done, however. There's a subtle difference.

She'll rush her homework to get the screen back quickly. Limiting screen time to a certain amount everyday is a more ... overall approach.

I'd be offering to review the limit IF, after a month, she's done what needs to be done properly with regards to school work.

BackforGood Sat 16-Jan-16 13:23:37

I can theoretically say no screen time but it's a constAnt battle

Only if you allow it to be.
You make a (reasonable) rule - no-one here is suggesting no screentime, and you enforce it consistently and then the battles become fewer.

Ditsy4 Sat 16-Jan-16 13:30:02

Have you considered reading to her. Sharing a book every night for say a Chapter. Might work. I certainly wouldn't be paying her to do it. Earning screen time is ok though. Pocket money for jobs washing up etc fine. I have four kids all brought up being read to. Two were avid readers, two weren't. Two are still avid readers. Second son now reads quite a bit too.Number three was probably read to the most and yet he doesn't read books at all.
Is she choosing the books? Some great new books out for teens now some Triology ones. Perhaps talk to staff in say Waterstones with her. They love it if kids write them a review to put up. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask her to read as part of her homework time.

Badlittlesis Sat 16-Jan-16 13:35:15

I was going to ask if you read but then say your post.

At 14 I think she's old enough to 'have the stick without the carrot'… weekends flick the wifi off or password it for s few hours. Weekdays maybe an hour once homework has been done do same.

Don't offer bribes hopefully she come to it herself.

I'm a big reader.…Oh was sooo happy when I got a kindle, thought is spend less on book-books. Ha ha, now I have 2 ways to buy them. Saying that when I was 14 and Ma&Da thought I was reading in my room I was practising snogging on my A-Ha poster. Putting on make up to see how much I could get away with in school. And generally pissing about.

Fully agree with non solo screen time but don't tie it to reading. If you've showed her a love and value to reading she'll come back to it.

HelloItsMeAgain Sat 16-Jan-16 13:37:25

Has she ever been a reader? If not can you try and find out from her why not? Just wondering (armchair diagnosis here) if she is maybe mildly dyslexic and finds reading a struggle.

If she used to be a reader but now isn't then you know that probably is not something to think about.

BTW, everyone has very, very different reading likes. If my DH tries to get me to read 70% of what he loves (Sci Fi) I would rather stick rusty nails into my eyes than even pick them up. (OK slight exaggeration). Likewise if I tried to suggest he read one of my preferred reading matter. So what you may think are fantastic books could fill her with anything from "meh" to "where are the rusty nails".

Maybe graphic novels, magazines, autobiographies may be a thought?

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