How video games taught Kubla to read

Add a spoonful of sugar to unpleasant activities


Like many boys, Kubla hated learning to read. He would walk on hot coals to get out of reading practice.

Like many boys, Kubla loves video games. He would eat hot coals to get time in front of a screen.

But we generally don’t give him screen time during daylight. TV and video games are the equivalent of junk food. If you want junk food, first you need to eat nutritious food and exercise your body. If you want screen time, first you need to exercise your mind.

On those days that he just can’t wait until nightfall to get his screen fix, we read a few pages of his phonics book, or write a couple sentences. Then he gets to play video games for 20 minutes.

“Hey Dad, can I read something?” he asks, taking out his book.
“Sure,” I say, taking out my tablet. “Sure.”

How do you add a spoonful of sugar to unpleasant activities?

In two weeks I’ll give a free Kidorable umbrella to whoever makes my favorite comment.

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