How do I get my child to do their Summer Reading?
The Parent Child Partnership Conversation applied in real life!
We’re past the mid-way mark and I know what has happened in the past. We’re cramming to get the required books read the week before school starts when we should be enjoying the final days of vacation!
If you’re like us, you’ve tried setting daily page requirements, pacing things out perfectly only to see them add up every day, getting more and more behind. Not only does this leave you feeling exasperated over having to nag your kids but they feel exasperated over having too many “have-tos” on their “so-called summer vacation!” (Can you see the eye-rolling?)
Try this instead:
Kids love being in control. Parents love seeing kids take responsibility but also want to make sure stuff gets done. This is where the “Parent Child Partnership Conversation” (or PCPC, my new term 😎) comes in handy. Here’s how it goes:
PCPC – Part 1:
To child: “Would you like to decide for yourself when and how fast to get your reading done or would you like for me to decide each day how many pages you read and when you will read them?”
At this point, it’s a no-brainer for your child. OF COURSE they want to decide for themselves. You may be thinking, “But then it will NEVER get done and my child will be the ONLY one in their class who hasn’t done the summer reading (😏 yeah… no other parents have this problem with their kids). Luckily, you’re the type of parent who knows that sharing control with your child means, they get to have say-so with limits until they prove they can handle say-so with less limits. Enter PCPC-Part 2.
To child: “Awesome! I knew you’d be able to handle getting it done on your own schedule. I want for you to be able to decide when to get it done as long as I can check in with you once a week to see your progress. Let’s agree on how much you think you can do – on your own schedule – by Sunday at 8:00.
This may be where your child gives push back but the reality is that they will likely be so jazzed about getting to have so much control, instead of the daily page grind, that they will be cool with you touching base. Touching base serves two purposes.
1. You get to empower them to make good choices and feel trusted by you that they are capable of doing so on their own.
2. You get to feel great about the progress they are making ON THEIR OWN with you nagging, reminding or pestering them.
Enter PCPC-Part 3:
To child: “Great! Now that we’ve decided how much you think you can get done by Sunday at 8:00, would you like me to nag, remind and pester you or would you like me to leave you alone so you can just get it done when you want. (You know what they’re going to say here…). Awesome! I’m happy to give you complete control of your reading each week without nagging, reminding or pestering you as long as you finish what we’ve agreed on each Sunday by 8:00. Fair deal?”
This is where the magic of the PCPC happens. Walk away and don’t ask again about it until Sunday at 8:00. If they get done what you agreed, set another goal for the following Sunday and don’t check in again until next Sunday. If they haven’t met the requirement step in and explain that for the next week, you’ll be determining how many pages a day and when during the day they are read but, not to worry, if the reading is done cooperatively (without challenge, excuse or delay) until Sunday, they will get another chance to have complete control the next week.
So here’s the summary of the Parent Child Partnership Conversation
1. Give your child a choice to do ____ independently or with your strict oversight and planning
2. Set a time frame that you’re comfortable with for ______ to be completed without your nagging, reminding or pestering. Be clear on the timing and the agreement before stepping away. DON’T bring it up again until the designated, agreed upon time.
3. Follow up, reminding the child of the agreement and determine if you’re going to go another round with the child functioning independently or if you will have to step in the next round with more oversight.
The goal is to help your child feel empowered and for you to catch a break from feeling the need to be breathing down their necks all the time!
Let me know your success using the PCPC!