Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How I Got My Kids to Write

by Susan Berger

My sons did not enjoy writing. They loved being read to. Once they could read on their own, Jim headed for comics. Chris preferred scary stories.

But they saw no point in writing. I wanted to change this. When they were little, they would tell me their stories and I would write them down. I wanted MORE stories. 

So I motivated them.I told them I would pay them a penny for every word they wrote in a story. If they went back and reread and edited the story, they would be pad two cents a word instead of a penny. I wanted them to get the idea that revising always paid off.

Before I made this offer, Chris used to write in his school journal "We played a game. We ran." After I made this offer, He started writing longer and longer stories. By the end of his fourth grade year, he was writing thirty five page stories. These were handwritten and we counted every word together. I owed him a lot of money. And I paid it gladly. It was so much fun reading what he wrote. 

When he was nine, he became my writing partner and we wrote Jamie's Dream which was finally published when he was twenty five.
 Chris has a new writing partner now and is working on screenplays, but he’s always ready to read my work and give me advice.

Jim's stories also became much longer and funnier. (And he still loves comics. This year he won the honor of being drawn into a DC comic.

Here he is in Superman Issue 713 He grew into a wonderful natural sounding writer. His movie revues are wonderful. I love to read his posts on FaceBook. I am so grateful to both of them for every word they have written.

It was worth every penny.
Superman Issue 713


  1. I love this idea. I think I'll give it a try.

  2. That is wonderful Susan! Pursuing what you love does have its rewards!

  3. I'm a great believer in bribery as a parenting technique!


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