Saturday, June 23, 2012

3 Tips for better parenting and grand parenting Read with your kids!

3 Tips for better parenting and grand parenting Read with your kids!

First tip – I am no expert :D

Second tip – Grandparenting is great. 

  I hear it all the time.  Being a grandparent is great because you can give them back.  Who are you giving them back to? God? That is a good idea – turn them over to God!  Grand parenting is great because it is a good chance to make up for all the goofy things we did when learning on your grandkid’s parents (your kids).
My youngest granddaughter

Third tip – Read with your kids! 

 If your kids are too young to read with then read to your kids.  I am referring to reading the same books your kids are reading.  Regardless of their age, take the time and read the same books your kids/grandkids are reading then talk to them about the books.

My wife and I love to read and my oldest granddaughter is the same and consumes books nonstop (thank God for libraries!)  One morning I was going through my list of books I wanted to start reading and a thought came to me, read the same books as my granddaughter.  I remember her talking about a series of books that she was reading and I decided to read the series too.  (My wife has read with my granddaughter before and always reads to them – [I am a little slower at catching good parenting tips.]  The book series started with The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau and it was the first of four books in the series.  (I get entertainment books from the local library and/ has a very large selection of ebooks/audio books that work on your e device or mp3 player and you can check them out for up to three weeks and ten books at a time.  My local library has a small selection but between the local library system, Pittsburgh’s system, and freelibrary, I can usually find what I want.  Now back to the main attraction.

It proved to be an interesting book and kept me engaged from start to finish.  Scattered throughout the book were various life lessons on morals, values, and various character traits (both good and bad).  There were times when the book seemed to go a little too dark for a ten year old and it seemed to ramble with no apparent direction but when I finished the book, many of the ramblings made sense.  Since my granddaughter was on book three, I immediately started on the second book, which is the People of Sparks.  While I was reading the first book, I began the dialogue with my granddaughter about her favorite characters, situations in the book, and the general plot.  The People of Sparks had a few sections that bored me but I am not the intended audience and the plot continued to build. The greatest value with both books is the life lessons scattered throughout the book as part of the dialogue and plot.

This dialogue between us continued into book two and three – The Prophet of Yonwood.  

She did not like the book nor did she fully understand it, which prompted me to finish it quickly to ensure I could discuss its plot and basis.  I found the book to be very dark and it was not until I finished the book did I understand its direction.  It is not a book I recommend for a ten year old (its rated 9 and above) since there are sections which paint a very dismal and odd look at certain items in life. I understand why Jeanne DuPrau wrote it and its conclusion is better than the majority of the book but I believe it should be written with a different stroke of the pen.

Since I read the book and its previous books, I was able to talk with my granddaughter about it and how it related to the previous two in the series;  helping her understand it and the life lesson in the book. 
Reading the same books as our kids/grandkids provides us opportunities to talk and dialogue providing tremendous openings to share our thoughts and values.  Do not stop reading with your kids when they grow.  Hopefully, they continue reading their entire life filling their lives with valuable books, stories, and life’s lessons. 

I love to read and talk to others about the books we read and what we learned from the book and if the book(s) has any value in our life.  There are many people in my life who love to read and we share our favorites and quick reviews as part of a regular routine.  Do you enjoy reading?  Please share your favorites with me!

 My final tip is to make your kids/grandkids part of your reading crowd, then read and talk with them about the books as you go through life together.  Ask them questions and let them talk explaining what they see and vision in the book.  Encourage them to read and build character images in their mind.  Ask them to describe the characters and discuss the characters together.  Do you envision them as tall or short, serious face or do they have a big smile always?  (Don’t make it a lesson but a chance to talk and dialogue with them.  Be a part of their life by getting to know their world and how they see our world.)  Ask them if their friends like to read and are they reading the same books.  Get them excited about reading and help them understand the value of reading books for many reasons.

(We are both reading book 4 in the series – The Diamond of Darkhold and we will discuss it when we complete it.)

Remember this: Life is all a matter of perspective so get out and enjoy the beauty of life!

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