We learn as small children, usually under our parents direction, that we live in a big world. We habitate an earth full of imperfections. Craters in deep brown clay in many of the southern states, scientists have evidence that this land has been worn by time and errosion. Even our lakes, deep and blue have pollution underneith the beautiful surface.
Imperfection seems to be the realitities of life in this day and age, and yet somehow we all expect perfection from our children. Our idea of what “perfection” is to us may vary from person to person, family to family. It’s no secret we want our kids to be the best. Any good, decent parent wants better for their children than what they had. That’s why we have multiple jobs to put ourselves through college to some day have another, higher paying job. We sacrifice our time, energy, and money to our biggest, best and most rewarding “job”. Parenting.
It is our top priority. However somehow it seems, we stray from where we started. What we intended to be helpful can also harm.
How you might ask, could bettering the future for our kids be viewed as harmful to them? Let me tell you a small bit of my story.
Rent, Utilities, Car insurance, ever rising gas prices, just to name a few, are unfortunate realities for many Americans today. Budgeting and robbing Peter to pay Paul, can rob the mind of our intentions to spend time with our kids.
Somewhere in the middle of this, I lost track of why I was doing this in the first place. I forgot the reason I decided to have my son, and to keep him, was so I could do the very best for him. Instead I neglected to read to him at night. My exhastion won out over doing the “right” thing. I’ve forgotten how many women work full time, go to school full time, and still read to their children. After all, I wanted the best for my son right?
I didn’t realize how much I would sacrifice for that want. Because I didn’t read to him, an agency here in my town has informed me that he is 10 months delayed in his cognition. This mean he is basically on a 12 month old level. He will be 2 years old later this month. I have also been told his communication is that of an 11 month old. The two go hand in hand and are a direct result of me not reading to him. This is more than guilt, this is fact.
When I found this out I began reading to him daily. I began doing something called “parilel talk”, which mean talking about everything I do as I’m doing it. I tell him that I am pumping gas, and doing dishes, and laundry. I tell him I am getting dressed for bed, and heading to work.
It seemed silly at first. There was no way, it seemed to me that this could work. What I found instead is that my son can learn a new word just about everyday. Not only that, he can remember these words, and speak them on his own, not just in immatation.
What I’ve found is that I can undue the damage I’ve done by being so wrapped up in the dealings of “life”, and that my son will likely recover.
I say this because if their is a mother, or father out there, that believes they can roll through life and take short cuts, that you can. But you and your child will reap what you sew. You will spend more time undoing this wrong than it would have taking if you had spent a little more time with your child in the first place.
It takes an average of 30 seconds to read a book to your child. Read two books a day and you’ve spent a mere minute teaching them. What are you doing in your day that you can’t find a minute? Put down your mortgage bill, and the checkbook. It won’t go anywhere for 60 seconds. Pick up a book from the library or wherever, and read to your child. When you come back to your bills, tell your child about being an adult. Explain to them what bills are. Will they understand? Probably not. Will they benefit from listening?
Without a doubt.