Every time the mother tried to read a book, the active infant pulled the book down. The mother tried several times to keep the little girl off her book with no success. The little girl wanted a piece of her mother’s attention.
Finally, almost in exasperation, the mother let the child win. She put the book down and paid attention to her only child. That also marked the beginning of the fall from reading many books to almost reading nothing by the previously ardent reader.
Years later, the mother is working at getting back into the place where reading a book is both captivating and fulfilling. If there’s anything we have achieved out of the season of lockdown, it is to get our children to read books.
The little girl who transformed her mother from an ardent book reader into a complete couch potato and who could hardly read a book herself has since been transformed into such a committed and fast reader.
Suddenly, she’s reading her 10th book and is set to double that number by the end of the season. The other day I was telling one of my children that as a child, I loved reading books.
The one book I read over and over again was my good news Bible, which had coloured illustrations. Good novels were scarce in our largely poor neighbourhood. Every time I landed on a book, I read it like my life depended on it. Against this background, I have over the years invested in books and novels.
The shock was that none of my children had an insatiable hunger for the books.
It used to completely baffle me. Other children never seemed to value or even enjoy reading books. When the lockdown happened, I put them under severe book therapy.
Everyone had to read a novel, whether they liked it or not. I was careful to pick the books I knew were captivating. Eventually, the fire started to catch. When I confiscated the phone of the older child, I was labelled all manner of things but with the phone out of the way, they started to pay attention to books. The books were interesting and before long, they have read a good number.
The mother intervened and demanded more. People were reading a higher calibre of books with more intricate plots I demanded reports from the reading, complete and well written and composed book reports. What is occupying your children during lockdown?