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“The Mom Store” and positive reinforcement for reading

Our summer reading program

We’ve hired a summer nanny. That’s right folks, you heard it here, we got ourselves a nanny. And by nanny I mean 18-year-old who can drive and lives at home with her own parents – nanny.

If you’re on Instagram, you need to start following Ralphie at @SimplyonPurpose. She is a mother of four girls who teaches me every day to be a better mom through simple acts. One of the many lessons I have taken from her playbook and applied to my own home is “The Mom Store.”

The Mom Store is simply a positive reinforcing system for reading. Why do we need a positive reward system? The reason why it’s so effective is because it turns an extrinsic reward into an intrinsic reward.

Ralphie tells us the only way to get behavior going long enough for it to become intrinsic is to create extrinsic rewards. So, we are trying it in our house this summer with the nanny. I have really only a couple basic asks of the nanny: 1) DO STUFF – art stuff, fun stuff, outside stuff, learning stuff, just do it! And 2) Keep the television to a minimum. We’ve implemented The Mom Store with the kids and the nanny because they aren’t old enough to read on their own yet. She can read to them and they get one ticket per book that they listen to. They have to record their books on their reading sheets and then she gives them a ticket. They can turn tickets in for special snacks or prizes.

The special snacks are things we don’t normally buy or have in our pantry. It’s fun single serving treats, semi-healthy, but also novel. If they decide to save up their tickets, they can buy a prize out of the treasure chest for 10 tickets. As Ralphie says, you can buy tickets at the dollar store or print free ones off the internet. Our kids were so excited to launch The Mom Store. I keep it stocked and the kids are enjoying our books and getting quality reading time in this summer.

Now I’ve taken Ralphie’s system and adapted it for our house and our kiddos. When they get older and can read on their own, we’ll probably try the system Ralphie uses with her older ones who can read on their own. If you are interested in implementing a reading reward system in your house, visit or check out @SimplyonPurpose on Instagram. Happy reading.

Written by Brianna Ludwig


Brianna is a marketing professional who enjoys cooking, fitness and (mostly) healthy eating. She and her husband live in Bismarck with their two toddlers. Reach her at

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