So said the sweet voice of our youngest, sitting in the chair, “reading” Are You My Mother? to a doll.
The night before, a storm rolled in, and I declared electronics off. (Lightning is as good an excuse as any, right?) With a desire to read of my own, I also declared it family reading night. Within a few minutes, kids ready for bed brought their books, blankets, and reading logs into the living room. A 12-year-old with a temper got the consequence of reading aloud to her non-reading, four-year-old sister.
We sat together for an hour, reading on our own. Granted, it wasn’t necessarily quiet. The soon-to-be first grader could be heard reading aloud for a bit, and the oldest decided to stay in the living room with the rest of us. Heaven forbid she go alone with her little sister to the dark bedroom while the thunder rumbled! Childhood fears are fears nonetheless, so I let them stay without saying anything.
And it was lovely.
At the end of the hour, it was time for bed. I wasn’t finished reading, but kids were drifting to sleep or yawning loudly. We tucked them in and kept the house quiet. The storm had already passed.
While washing dishes the next morning, I heard the young one “reading” to her doll, turning through the pages as knowingly as her big sister. I smiled.
What do we call positive consequences? Rewards. I love how that works.