Question of the Day – Paying Your Kids to Read

July 21, 2010

I have a question for AFM readers:

What do you think about paying your kids to read certain books?

I’m torn on this issue.

Don’t get me wrong. My wife and I do not believe in paying kids to do school work (other than offering them a reward for getting straight As in school). The reading I’m talking about is extra reading. I’m talking about books like Think and Grow Rich, The Magic Ladder to Success, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and any other book on success or business. These are books that they wouldn’t normally pick up and read. So, I thought it might be interesting to give them a little incentive. They read the book, tell me about it, and if I think they read it, I’ll give them $10. As of right now, they’re both tearing through their first book. My youngest son actually told me that it makes sense and that it’s a good book.

My hope is that I’ll start them down a path of wanting to read something besides Harry Potter.

Thoughts? I’d love to hear what you guys think.

15 responses to Question of the Day – Paying Your Kids to Read

  1. Marvelous idea. I did this a few times with my kids over the years to get them to read some books I though were important and that they never would have picked up on their own. They (much) later expressed appreciation for having read those books.

  2. That’s a pretty generous incentive – I’m not surprised they’re racing through the book. I think it’s rather brilliant, actually. Although rather than just having them tell me what they think, I would have a discussion – if they both read the same book, then the three of us would sit down and discuss/debate what we think the message was, the merits, etc. I would want to use the opportunity to teach some critical thinking as well. (Argh, I sound like MY parents!)

  3. Good idea, Cathy.

  4. This is a horrible idea! We need your kids to become indentured servant, consumerist-zombies in order to propagate our Ponzi scheme government!

    If you keep this up, your kids might get the impression that it’s good to live within your means and save money. Yuck!


  5. I think John C. Maxwell credits a lot of his success to his father paying him to read educational books.

  6. Great ideas! Will you pay me to read these books, too? I’d be more than happy to discuss them for $10 each! 😉

  7. I hope they don’t learn about Evelyn Wood’s speed-reading program. You’ll go broke!

  8. Thank, JLP – it’s scary to be turning into my own parents, lol ;P

  9. Hey – don’t pay Beth $10 to read books, I’ll do it for $5

  10. I’m not a parent, so perhaps I’m not the best judge, but I wonder what other types of incentives might work besides money/stuff.

  11. @ Tom – Feel free to do it for $5…I’m kind of busy right now anyway! lol

  12. \
    it at least gets them thinking beyond Harry Potter video games and that life can be more. Also how they might save or what they can spend that 10 dollars on.

  13. Nancy,

    Good point. They are motivated by money. They like more expensive things these days, which require savings. They also know that mom and dad ARE NOT going to buy them a car.

  14. When I was a child my parents made my brother and I log the amount of time we read books. We were then allowed to watch an equivalent amount of television.

  15. Pretty darn clever of you!

    I think I will use your idea once my kids get older! (currently my son just turned 10)