Michelle Lim-Chua, author of The Mindful Mom, and I were recently invited to speak at the Bookerville Carnival on a topic we’ve spoken on before:
These were some of the topics we talked about:
- Technology vs books
- Bibliotherapy – using books to address difficult issues
- Books for building creativity
- Building character and teaching values
- Using stories to teach philosophy
We had an interesting question from the audience which prompted me to think about a few more points I would like to add:
Never Too Early
I have always been a big believer that earlier is better when we are trying to nurture a positive relationship between our children and books. This is especially true in an era where technology steals so much of our children’s attention. The earlier you begin, the better your chances of cultivating that love for reading. Once you plant the seeds for reading, make sure you keep watering them. Nurture and cultivate it with lots of good reading material. Don’t let your children don’t fall out of love with reading.
The war against technology is real. When we’re fighting to hold our children’s attentions with books, I am inclined to agree with Neil Gaiman – that there is no such thing as a bad book:
“Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant.”
Use everything in your arsenal and it doesn’t have to be limited to books. The written word can be presented in a variety of media – comics, magazines and newspapers are all fair game when it comes to reading.
At the end of the day, I believe that a child who reads – even what we consider to be poor literature – will be better off than a child who won’t read because “reading is boring”.