I’m in the midst of reading Charlemagne tha God’s book “Black Privilege”. The book is interesting for numerous reasons however my focal point will be something Charlemagne shares about his mother and her encouraging him to read books specifically book that didn’t pertain to him or his life. I initially didn’t fully appreciate the reason he shared until I was having a discussion with someone about a topic that they were surprised I could share an informed opinion about. I’ve stated in previous blog entries that I embrace opportunities to learn something new and how much I relish in the process of learning. The idea of encouraging your child to read about a variety of subjects increases their ability to think critically and assess situations from several perspectives. In an effort to keep the twins encouraged to read more I discovered that I catered to what they like, which is good however incorporating some variety could also be beneficial.
Lee and I were out this weekend, went in a few stores he indulged me by going into the Dollar Tree. I needed to obtain some gift boxes for some Mother’s Day gifts I had previously purchased. While we were in the store I walked down an aisle that was stacked with books. I was surprised and delighted because there was a great range of hard cover books and I didn’t realize were sold in this store. Similar to any true lover of books I took time out to shuffle through the three packed shelves of books. The price of the book helped in making a treasured find all the more valuable. Lee, aware of my goal to have the Twins become more engaged readers held up a book stating, “I heard about these boys and their band, this might be a good one for the twins”. I was enthralled in my search so without looking up I asked Lee to elaborate, as he read the inner cover he stopped and said “Never mind they may not be interested in this.” That was the sentence that made me pause, Charlemagne’s story about his mother making him read things that didn’t pertain to his life came to mind. I looked up and said “It’s the perfect book, do they have two?”
My goal in life as a mother is to equip my kids with the best information I have so that they are knowledgeable in multiple areas. I want them to do more than survive in life, I want them to flourish. I often tell them “I’m giving you the gift of knowledge and no one will ever be able to rob you of it!” I make it a point to learn additional techniques to improve parenting skills. I listen to the adult children about methods their mothers used while raising them (i.e. Charlemagne). Books have always been important to me from Judy Blume’s “Are you there God, it’s me Margaret” to my favorite “Coldest Winter Ever” by Sista Souljah. You tell me just how diverse the spectrum is pertaining to those two books.
Like most mothers I consider the short and long term when it comes to parenting. The twins excel in all things electronic, math and athletics. While encouraging them to cultivate what they love doing I also want to build on what is innate in them. I pray what I teach helps them to succeed. What I do understand that if we want our children to exceed to a higher level we must sacrifice and find a balance.
I purchased “Unlocking the Truth” a book about young African American boys that started a rock band and against all odds have become successful. The twins don’t listen to rock music however the band’s story of perseverance and ambition to go after their dream is what I’m hoping translate. I’m reading along with them preparing questions for a 10-12 minute discussion after each section. The first section went better than I expected. Be sure to build a library that offers a variety of subjects and engage them in a short discussion about their thoughts on what they read. Encourage critical thinking skills early and encourage them to increase their vocabulary. Being actively involved in the enrichment of their mind and character is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give.
Live Free and Parent Enthusiastically!