Friday, June 21, 2013

Tentative Parenting : How to talk to little boys?

K2 : Ma, please tell me you haven't been reading?
Working Mom : Of course, I have...every night in fact. My kindle has 322 books on it
K2 : Maybe you need to buy me a kindle and I start reading...
Working Mom : Don't make excuses. I won't stamp your reading log and then you won't make the summer reading club and guess what I am half way thro' all ready (and it's just the first week).

K2 cried for 10 straight minutes before going to summer camp and I felt like a really mean person for taking such a firm stand with him yesterday. However, there is this article that I read on Huffington Post by Lisa Bloom and I can totally relate to it. My son will pick reading as the last possible activity on his list of things to do...he likes being read to but he will pick a video game, the iPad or even cycling to reading. It baffles me...I was the "proverbial book worm" give me an excuse to stay with a book and I would gladly take it then and now. I see the stereotype getting played out with school and even from K1 (he will dribble with him, or throw him a ball vs. read with him or take him to the library), the subliminal message he is getting is : Girls read, boys do not. 
Is it a surprise that the top 10% in a class is crowded with girls (in K2's  class it is Petra, Sophia and Katie) and the bottom 10% is crowded with boys. K2 was in the bottom in the first half year of school year, his reading and writing below the 2nd half of school year he improved leaps and bounds because we are trying really hard to get him to love books. Strangely enough, I followed  the strategies listed in the article even before reading it :
  1. Make favorite reading lists 
  2. Take him to the library, the bookstore, book festivals.
  3. Take him to summer reading events at the library or kids author events 
  4. Take him to Shakespeare Plays in the park (last year was Henry the Vth). 
  5. Read to him, read with him, read side-by-side nightly. 
I really do Push reading as if his life depends on it and at some levels I do believe it builds his knowledge and perspective but more importantly it helps him grow. No one said it better than Dr. Seuss...

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