People Are Slamming Proud Dad’s ‘Hack’ for Getting His Son To Read More Books

Twenty20

Boy reading book
Twenty20

Teaching your kid to read is one thing, but getting them to become a reader is another. If they don't naturally flock to the book section, it can be hard to motivate your little ones to pick up a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which is why dad David Woodland thought he was brilliant for paying his son $1 for every book he reads. But apparently not, according to the internet's reaction to his easy hack. Many thought the idea was terrible and weren't afraid to let him know it in a series of tweets.

  • Woodland shared his brilliant plan on Twitter, where he admitted to paying for pages read.

    It's simple, really. Woodland and his wife pay his eldest son a dollar for every book he reads.

    "We’re talking 160 page chapter books," he wrote on July 18.

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  • It hasn't been the cheapest way to get his son to pick up books, but he feels it's definitely worth it.

    So far the dad's spent $120 on his son's reading, but it is well worth the hefty sum. But 120 books at 160 pages each later, this dad is pretty pleased.

    "He thinks he's ripping me off," Woodland wrote. "Best investment ever."

  • The dad also offered up this second piece of parenting advice.

    His son doesn't get any wiggle room with his bedtime -- with one exception. He "can stay up late if he is reading books."

  • Woodland's tweet reached over 498,000 people on Twitter, but some people hated his pricey method.


    "Artificial incentives. This kills the joy of learning. Makes it transactional. Please try to teach the joy of learning instead (intrinsic)," one commenter wrote in the thread.

    "Be careful attaching financial incentive to something you want to be done out of intrinsic motivation -- when the incentive disappears, the behavior is likely to as well," another person agreed.

    "You'll be out a lot more for his therapy," a third person added. "I've got four kids (15 through 4, the older three doing amazing in school etc. etc.) and this is a horrible idea that teaches really bad incentives. Hope this doesn't backfire and bite you guys in the behind."

  • Other people were applauding the dad for his efforts.


    "Our parents awarded us $10 for every A ($9 for A-, $8 for B+...) on our report cards. This was tracked in our 'checkbook' and every year the value of an A appreciated by $2 Loved beating my lil bro so much it became a habit... He's a UCLA grad. I'm a Harvard grad," one commenter shared.

    "We make my 5-year-old earn all of his TV and video game time by reading with us," someone else wrote. "We also let him bump his bed-time back a half hour if he wants bed-time stories. We've got him to the point he'll get upset if we say we don't have time for a book."

    A third person agreed that to a certain extent the method works.

    "I hated reading so much as a child that [I] needed remedial reading classes. My mom decided to pay me for each book I read, and I came to love if so much I now average 60 books a year."

  • All in all, Woodland was able to take the debate in stride. 

     In a third tweet from that day the dad wrote that he "didn't realize 'encouraging reading' could be such a controversial topic."

    And it seems like Woodland is really and truly not worried about his son.

    "He's a great kid and thrives in academics and sports. More importantly, he is a loving older brother/friend/son," he tweeted.

    "I am proud to be his dad. Don't worry about my kid! He will be okay!"

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