An Open Letter to Parents from a Children´s Author
I have been asked to give a few tips on parents reading to their children. I do not have any answers that are set in concrete. I can only tell you what goes through my mind.
One of the saddest things I hear almost every day is, “I don´t have the time to read to my children.” You DO have time! Turn off the radio and tv. Slow down your thoughts. One day, when the children are grown and gone, you will see that actually, you had plenty of time. Is it more important to talk to a client? Is it more important to get that load of laundry done? When it is all said and done, you will realize that your family was the ONLY thing that was important and nothing else really mattered! Please don´t make that mistake. You will regret it for a lifetime. These statements are very harsh, but very true!
When you read stories to your children, actually try to get into the story. Your child is! Be there with him or her in the story. If you are passive and simply want to get to the end of the story, your child will know. He or she will soon believe that reading is not important after all. I have spent a lifetime observing people. I will tell you that every child who was taught to love reading turned out to be very, very intelligent, level-headed, and successful in life´s journeys.
“I don´t want to spend much money on these books,” is yet another thing I hear so often. “They will be read once and then thrown away.” Buy any price book. Borrow books from friends. Go to one of the best friends we have, which is the public library. I had absolutely no money to spend when I was a child, but my mother did get a library card for me. (I still have a library card!) If you do buy expensive books, either keep them within arm´s reach where all children can get to them, or donate them to someone less fortunate.
There are no easy answers to any of life´s questions. But as far as teaching a child to love reading is concerned, yes, we do have control over that!
Sincerely, Bob Morgan, professional writer of children´s stories.
Reprinted with permission.