Give them Something Else to Read
In honor of Dr. Seuss's recent birthday and "Read Across America" Day, I reflected on the blessing of reading. I wondered: How many words do we take in from a BOOK? Not the words on instagram or twitter or facebook or fox/cnn news on our phones, but how many words do we soak up from pages we turn in our hands?
Many of the most successful people in our country are well-read. They spend time reading daily. Even in the midst of their busyness, they take time out to read.
Tweets and Instagram posts do not make us well-read. It is very apparent that our dependence on our devices has taken away our love of reading. The information on our phones is the extent of our reading each day.
I am most concerned for our children. How can books compete with the newest video game or social media?
How can we encourage our kids to continue a love of reading in their lives? This is an important aim in my life, both as a mommy and a teacher of reading!
So how can I help my preteen daughter value words on a page more than the posts on her phone?
*Give her something else to read! Have a magazine ready for the car ride or the waiting time in the doctor's office. Put the phone up and let her turn the pages in a magazine instead. I promise she will love it. (COMMENT BELOW WITH MAGAZINE IDEAS FOR KIDS AND TEENS!)
I picture how it used to be: families huddled together by the fire to keep warm in their small living room, sharing a book together. Perhaps the breakdown of the family came as our modern conveniences separated us into our rooms. Now, when home, too many families disperse into their own spaces. How can we devote time together as a family?
*Read together! Spend time as a family sharing a book together, no matter how young or old your kids are. Cuddle up under blankets and read as a family! You will not be disappointed.
What if our kiddo doesn't like to read? What if our kiddo would rather play video games than pick up a book?
*Expect them to read anyways. Engage their love of books by taking them to the public library or book store. Do your research and help them pick a book that is just right for them. And set time aside each day where they are expected to open a book and read.
What if, on our subways and in our cars and within our living rooms and scattered around parks and throughout waiting rooms, instead of seeing faces attached to screens, we see faces attached to books? Treasured words on pages! Imaginations running wild! Brains engaged! Learning! Being inspired!
Ignite a love of reading in your home! Don't let our culture turn our reading status quo. I love hearing about your daily happenings on facebook, but give me a book and I have a little piece of heaven in my hands!
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