Maybe it isn’t anything earth shattering but it is important to our family and I am willing to bet, it may help yours as well.
Our eldest daughter Studious has always loved to read. I mean ALWAYS. No surprise there with me as a mom. We spent hours each day getting lost in books. It was what I was most proud to have passed on to her. I still am. There is nothing like the gift of being able to read and travel to the endless possibilities of the mind. I gave that to her. Parental win for sure.
Lately I was looking at our final three and while they do love being read to, they did not have the deep desire to read that our eldest did. I thought maybe times were just changing. Maybe society was creeping in more than I realized. I mean, they did just decide to shut down the circus – WHAT?! Maybe reading was next on the chopping block.
Then I realized, the problem may quite possibly lie with me. You see, the reason our daughter wanted so desperately to read all the time was because I was. I was reading all the time and she was doing that thing our children do that we forget most of the time. She was watching. Like a hawk. She wanted to emulate me and the desire grew until she took it and made it her own. Separate from me.
Now you may ask, “Did you stop reading when Clever, Dapper and Spicy came along?” The answer, of course, is no. Not at all. But HOW I read changed. I got a Kindle and then I have a Kindle app. I was reading just as much (okay- maybe a little less since I had 3 instead of just 1 kiddo) but I was reading. The difference was, I was reading the books on my Kindle App on my phone. Picture that in your mind. What do you think my children saw? Do you think they realized I was reading books or did it just look like I was playing on my phone? How could they emulate my love of reading when they didn’t see me doing it?
This is not an anti-kindle or other e-book post. This is merely an observation and a truth I have made and discovered in our home. Children will model us. What do we want them to model? Are we giving them the right things to model? In my case, I wasn’t. I was still reading but my children were not seeing it. Trips to the library were few and far between because I had everything I needed on my app. BUT THEY DIDN’T SEE THAT! They saw their mom sitting quietly with her iPhone up to her face. A lot! Lets face it, I love to read so you can imagine how often they saw this…
So now, recently? I have gone to the library over and over and then back again. I have stacks and stacks of books that I am touching in my hands and actually holding. You know what else I realized? I had missed the tangible books as well. The smell, the textures, the actual sight of seeing words on an actual page…It has been a coming home of sorts. I didn’t even realize I had stepped away.
But the best thing? I have turned this parental fail into a win. In the short time since I have altered this behavior, I have noticed a change in the final three. They are emulating me with stacks of books of their own. More quiet time is being spent curling up with pages and words and all is right again.
XOXO you fabulous models!