Dad divides opinion after revealing that he pays his son to read books

24 July 2020, 10:23 | Updated: 24 July 2020, 10:45

Would you pay your child to read? (stock images)
Would you pay your child to read? (stock images). Picture: Getty
Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

The dad's method of getting his son to read books has proved controversial among other parents.

A dad has caused a stir among parents after revealing that he pays his son to read books.

David Woodland, who is from San Francisco in the US, took to Twitter to reveal that he gives his son $1 (79p) for every book he reads, and added that his method has cost him $120 (£94) this year.

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He wrote: "We pay my oldest $1 every time he reads a book. We’re talking 160 page chapter books.

"I’m out $120 this year and he thinks he’s ripping me off. Best investment ever.

"The second trick is: he has a strict bedtime, but can stay up late if he is reading books."

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His tweet has since gone viral, and racked up almost 500,000 'likes' at the time of writing.

Over 1,000 people have also replied to his tweet, which has seemingly proved controversial among parents.

One wrote: "Artificial incentives. This kills the joy of learning. Makes it transactional. Please try to teach the joy of learning instead (intrinsic)."

Another added: "Imagine getting paid by your parents for any of your accomplishments."

And a third wrote: "Be careful attaching financial incentive to something you want to be done out of intrinsic motivation - when the incentive disappears, the behaviour is likely to as well."

However, some people approved of David's methods.

One wrote: "I think it instills great habits in the child. The negative nellies are just always looking to slam something they don't agree with."

The dad revealed that his method has been a success (stock image)
The dad revealed that his method has been a success (stock image). Picture: Getty

And another said: "What is important is that Dad values books and reading, and this is the message that he is passing on to his son. Meanwhile, his son is devouring books. Why quibble? It sounds like this kid has plenty of intrinsic motivation to read, or he wouldn't have chomped through 120 books."

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David followed up his original tweet with: "Didn’t realize “encouraging reading” could be such a controversial topic, so I’ll end on this: He’s a great kid and thrives in academics and sports. More importantly, he is a loving older brother/friend/son. I am proud to be his dad. Don’t worry about my kid! He will be okay!"


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