I have always marveled at how engrossed he is with any form of a device, it’s been a lifelong tendency, Once his hands touch a device, he totally forgets about his immediate environment to the degree that it’s now a big challenge to focus on other areas.
Often times it became a big fuss with him, and we had to come up with certain measures to curb is over-techiness obviously, it’s been made known that He will be an IT guru in the near future but there were other potentials he has to develop .This is the story of my teenage firstborn son.
Time after time, my sons had seen me spending hours pouring myself books either I am reading or writing. I always encourage them to read as possible as I can. So I was reading one of John Maxwell’s book- Make today Count where he was emphasizing about daily habits for a successful living. In one of the chapters, John wrote about how his father would encourage he and sibling to cultivate the reading habit.
He pointed out interestingly how his dad will give him and his other sibling a certain amount of money at the end of every read.
This summer holiday I tried to apply the same method to my boys, in particular, my techy first-born son. He wanted a new phone and had been disturbing his dad and me, so I told him if the phone was that critical to him, what will be willing to do?
He said he would do whatever it will take to make us get the phone for him, I went further by asking him to start reading, and for every read, he will get N1000 that’s about $3 equivalent. So we started off the reading challenge. The conditions for the remuneration after reading were properly stated so that it be that he is just reading amiss or reading for the money sake.
I gave him the first book about a month ago -Why you act the way you do, by Tim LaHaye. not really thinking that he would be able to finish reading it because of the volume and more because I know him, somehow I was waiting for his excuses, despite the fact that I really wanted to get him into a serious reading culture. To my utmost amazement, he finished reading,not only did he finished, I told him that we will discuss what he learnt and how he would apply the nuggets into his own everyday life.
When we began to discuss the book, I was overwhelmed with so much joy as I listened with rapt attention, I couldn’t believe my son was the one talking,he spoke with so much eloquence and confidence, then when it got to the part of temperaments strengths and weaknesses, he face lit up like a blazing torch talking about his strengths and then he admitted his weaknesses with such courage, I couldn’t be more proud.
In that moment I was on top of the world with great excitement,This idea of money incentive was actually working. Then my mind drifted to the scriptures as we were talking,I was also learning from him as he elaborated on the book.
Looking through the book of Proverbs 22: 6;
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.
God calls parent to lead their children, telling us that when we train them and teach them the values of life when they grow up , those life lessons will guard and guide them.
There are 3 ways I believe we as parents can become good leaders to our children, which are:
Modelling- we teach them by our lifestyle.
Management- Ability to discern the uniqueness of each child and use their uniqueness to adapt our style of teaching and training based on the temperament and wiring of such child.
Memories- creating memories, memories are more important than things.
For the purpose of this post I will emphasis only on one.
Modelling- It was Abraham Lincoln that said the best way to train up a child in the way he should go is to TRAVEL IT YOURSELF, which brings me to something interesting I saw sometimes back. It was a picture of woman and her child on the train and both mother and child were engrossed in their books. The mother was asked how she got her child involve in reading instead of being preoccupied with tech devices- And she said, “children don’t hear us , they imitate us. That’s modelling a reading culture just like I started with my boys.
Today as I write he has read 4 books, and has even taken it further by getting himself a book/ journal journal just like mummy and has started writing down what he is learning from the books. I am not sure that he would have taken on the challenge of building a reading culture without the money incentives but I am super grateful that the money reward is working (God help me so I won’t come up with excuses when it’s time to reward.
4 books down and many more to go before school resumption soon. I am very grateful for the ability to model such virtue and also the ability to have incentives for reward.
A reader is a leader!
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FBS- First born Son.