Parents 'bribe children to read'
Almost half of parents admit resorting to bribery to get their children to read, a survey suggests.
Parents are using TV, the computer and sweets as incentives to encourage their youngsters to open a book, according to a poll commissioned by education publishing firm Pearson.
It found that both teachers and parents believe that increased access to technology is turning children off reading, with many youngsters bored by books.
The findings show that six in 10 parents (59.4%) and more than eight in 10 teachers (85.4%) believe children are more likely to log on to a computer than pick up a book.
More than half of parents (57.2%) said they were concerned that digital media is replacing reading, while three in four (76.6%) believe it is more difficult for their child to spend time learning to read, with all the other distractions available, than it was when they were growing up.
A third of parents (32.4%) admit they only allow their child to watch TV or use the computer after reading, while one in 10 (9.6%) gives their child treats such as sweets or chocolate. A further 5.9% say they use other rewards.
Both parents and teachers (65.3% and 84% respectively) think children would read more if they could access some elements of their school reading programme on the computer.
And nearly nine in 10 teachers (88.7%) are concerned that reading is becoming increasingly less attractive for kids growing up today.
The poll also asked children for their views on reading, and found that many were more likely to play games on the computer, surf the internet or watch TV than read a book.
Almost two thirds (61.9%) said these activities were more exciting than reading, while over a third (37.3%) said they wished reading school books at home was more like playing a game.