Saturday, August 05, 2017

Talk and read to your children

I wonder sometimes how my mother got so smart--many happy memories of her reading to my brother and me while the three of us cuddled in a large overstuffed chair. Actually it was one of those huge 1940s era upholstered chairs with wide arms, so I was sitting on the arm.  As a child, I often wished Mom would stop talking--she believed in reasoning with children rather than spanking.  Occasionally I thought a spanking would be better than a long explanation of my mischief and misbehavior.

Building a young child's vocabulary is essential for future success. To keep me quiet, Mom would make up stories while braiding my hair and she would talk so softly I'd have to listen. And music. Our home was filled with it--usually our piano lessons, but sometimes just for fun. Only one of us was good enough to earn a living at it.  And we four children with the oldest playing the piano presented programs with our off key quartet to local groups and clubs. It was my little brother who stole the show since he was so cute. Even though our church uses huge screens with words of hymns, I always pull out the hymnal if available and practice sight reading the music. Screens in churches have killed what little knowledge many had of music.

And most critical--I had a hard working father who was home every night. He didn't play with us, or tuck us in at night. He didn't hug or kid around. Most of my friends (especially boy friends) were afraid of him. But we saw how he treated our mother and his mother. Like they were the most important persons in his life--and they were.

How did our parents get so wise without academic research?

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