It’s even worse. I want to talk about spending time with your child.
You and your child can have marvelous adventures without leaving your house. Would you rather walk in Central Park or solve mysteries like the Babysitter’s Club? Both are mind-expanding experiences. Adults and children have rich imaginations that add so much to either experience.
My parents were poor but they were rich in reading. We never visited New York City but I read the about kids who lived in Bayport, Long Island. In one book, they came to Manhattan and got lost in a department store. Fortunately, they discovered the camping section and food and stayed locked in the store all night in a tent! My mouth was open for an hour in amazement!
My parents both read aloud. One of their favorites was Gene Stratton Porter, a naturalist in Indiana. Her vivid stories of the flora and fauna of swamp life (plus some shady characters mixed in) took me in another direction about adult adventure.
My parents sometimes read slowly and I was impatient to get to the action and wanted a turn to read. I realize now that they were getting me ready to want to read out loud instead of asking me to do it. After my father’s slow cadence – I was ready to set a world record for decoding!
Our family simply did not have television. It was a different time. It’s reasonable now to limit phone, computer, and TV so that kids find the richness of print and imagination. It’s unfair to cast out these nice things and expect children to find healthy substitutes. Why not have a family reading hour twice a week at 6pm and everyone participates? Kids will close chats but open their imagination. Have a fun way to choose the book of the week to read. And soon your family will be sailing up the Mekong under enemy fire with Bishop Yap to deliver food to hungry people!
When the habit takes hold, some of your children will never look back. I read 99% of the time in bed before I sleep. I’ve graduated to murder mysteries. I also try to read a nonfiction book each week, but evenings are to enrich the soul more than the mind.
If you want a partner to get more literacy in your family, ask about our programs at 82nd Street Academics. Meanwhile, adventure is waiting. Close this computer and gather the kids!