DISCUSSION: Don't use READING as a punishment!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014
I told myself I wasn't going to rant about this.

I really did.

Several times, in fact.

But after the weekend passed, this was still bugging the crap out of me.

You see, someone was over at my house the other day (not going to name names), but their kid was acting up, and this was the punishment they threatened their child with if they didn't stop being a booty head...

"If you don't stop, you're going to be sent to your room with no TV, no iPod, no music, no phone, NOTHING, except a book. All you will have is a book to read. Do you want that? If not, then stop it."


And it just seriously rubbed me the wrong way. I probably looked like this.

FINE. I totally did make that face.

I mean, seriously?! It's no wonder that most children hate reading. If you're using reading as a punishment, you're basically brainwashing them into thinking that reading is something that should be hated. It's ridiculous. Not only because reading is the bomb dot com, but also because you're setting yourself up for more trouble down the road. 

What happens when your kid has to do a book report, but refuses to read because they hate it and associate it with punishment? They aren't going to read it. They aren't going to do their book report. Or they are going to half-ass it and get a horrible grade. All because of the fact that you used it as a punishment!!! 

I understand that you want to punish your kid. Really, I do. Because kids are shit heads some times, but do it another way. ANY OTHER WAY. Send them to their room to write sentences. 

"I will not be a shit head."
"I will not be a shit head."
"I will not be a shit head."

Times 100.

Not really those exact words, though, because that's probably worse. Do teachers even make kids write sentences anymore? Or is that something that is just showing my age? Anyways, the point I'm trying to make is there are plenty of other ways to punish your kid, besides threatening them with a book. It hurts my heart to see something I cherish used as a punishment. It's not right, and I beg and plead of you not to do this to your kid. You should strive to have a reader as a child! Readers are the best! I should know, because I know hundreds of readers. That's right. HUNDREDS. And they are some of the absolute best people I've ever met! 

What do you think?
Do you know someone who uses reading as a punishment?
Do you use reading as a punishment?
Do you agree or disagree with me?
Let's discuss!
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  1. Wow ...seriously...she is taking something that she should be encouraging and turning it into something this kid will hate! That's horrible. I'd have cried if my parents sent me to my room and took my books away lol

  2. We used to take away all the tech and favorite toys (K'nex, legos, etc...) when my son acted up as a child. He had a huge bookshelf full of books and puzzles that never got taken away when he was being punished, but we never said this alternative activity was part of the punishment. That part I don't agree with.

  3. I've never met anyone who uses reading as a punishment, but I agree with you 100%. It doesn't even only apply to reading - anything that is used as a punishment will eventually become something that the child associates with getting in trouble and learns to dislike. It could be cooking or knitting or cleaning their room, but you have to teach your kids to enjoy things like that so that they'll want to continue with them as they get older! Reading is a hobby to encourage. I mean, sometimes it gets out of hand (I used to bring a book into restaurants with me when my family went out for dinner, which my parents didn't appreciate), but there are so many hobbies that are way worse.

  4. One of my uncles used reading as a punishment for his kids. It was always funny when I got "punished" with them (because apparently I had to be included even if I had nothing to do with their behavior when I was at their house). I was always like, "Oh yes, I feel so punished having to read!" ;) But that is a horrible way to punish kids. It's hard enough getting them excited about books the way it is.

  5. I have never EVER seeing reading used as punishment and I would surely say something to that person (when the kid was not present). Reading is something I love and I was punished by being denied books when I was younger!

    BUT there's something rather similar in a way that happens at work... A young kid visiting their grandpa/dad/relative and running around or screaming unappropriately and the family tell him "don't scream/run/whatever or the nurse will poke you with a big needle!!" *insert eye roll and unhappy face from me here", I almost always tell that family to not do that, cause next time their kid will go for their vaccines or go to the ER, they'll see a needle and scream bloody murder! *sigh*

  6. Oh my gosh, I can't believe they said that! That is really appalling... I never heard of parents doing this and if I did I think I might have to set them straight. Wow, I'm kind of in shock.

  7. I'm am SO horrified right now! I can't believe any parent would do such a thing :O
    I am disgusted as well, because reading is a great way to broaden horizons and I can't see how anyone wouldn't want their children to enjoy reading. UGH!


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