“I think this power of living in our children is one of the sweetest things in the world.”Louisa May Alcott, Author
Let’s start by acknowledging that most mothers are the primary caregivers of their children. Even today, in the 21st century, gender roles are pretty divided and things are far from changing. We might debate this till the cows come home or, instead, we can take ownership of our children’s well-being. You are strong enough to nourish and nurture your child’s mind, body, and soul, dear mother. You are your children’s role model. Your children look up to you to learn how to manage their emotional needs, their social skills, and also, how to build their careers. It is certainly unfair and unjust that mothers should take up one more responsibility and such a big one as that. But this is a shout-out to all mothers. Believe in your strength.
“Story, as it turns out, was crucial to our evolution — more so than opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs let us hang on; story told us what to hang on to.”Lisa Cron, Author
If you want your child to be a reader, then begin by cracking open a book. I’m sure you have heard the adage that books are windows to the world. They are. Books are wonderful creations because they are the written manifestations of the very essence of humanity — stories. We are all stories. Our bodies are stories about our past and our present. Every wrinkle, every ache and pain, every fold on the skin, every muscle, is a story. Our minds are nothing but stories. Who are we if not our memories? Imagine waking up one day without a single memory of anything. Who would you be? Our souls are a culmination of stories that connect us to the cosmos.
“Access to books and the encouragement of the habit of reading: these two things are the first and most necessary steps in education and librarians, teachers and parents all over the country know it. It is our children’s right and it is also our best hope and their best hope for the future.”Michael Morpurgo, Author
All parents know that when you tell a child to do something, chances are, they won’t do it. As frustrating as that may be, it is the first rule of thumb in raising children. “Show, don’t tell”. It is the one mantra that all writers follow and swear by. The same applies to parenting. If you are on the phone around your child, then you cannot expect them to go and read a book. If you are a mother and you want your child to know about the world around them and within them, then get off the phone and open a book. Read with them, read around them, and they will do the same.
“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years…Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”Carl Sagan, Author
Recently, a friend said that children today need three parents, and that (even) two aren’t enough anymore. So, mothers, and especially single mothers, are having to do the job of three people all in one. In an ideal world, both parents would have an equal share in raising the next generation. But that’s not how it is, is it? I have taken up arms against this on my personal front and I have seen other women do the same. But now, I am wiser. I accept graciously when I am told that I should be a proud mother for doing a good job. I don’t feel any guilt anymore. I know the hard work all mothers are putting in and it is time we all accept what an incredibly good job we are all doing. No more guilt. No more humility. Let’s make the best of it and create responsible, sensible, sensitive, and remarkable citizens of the world. (Pssst…We all know how that will pan out if we leave it to the fathers)
“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift.”Kate DiCamillo, Author
Let’s start on the path of self-actualisation and promote self-actualisation among our children by opening a book and reading it. This is the best gift we can give our children. Let’s build this beautiful habit with our children. “Show, don’t tell.” It will not happen overnight but trust the universe. It will happen. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. Maybe it will happen when they are grown up and are parents themselves. As mothers, we can plant the seed and let it germinate and grow at its own sweet time. Sowing the seed is in our control. Not much else is.
One response to “Week 50: Why Mothers Should be Readers”
We’ll written. Lovely use of colloquial language. Easy to read.
I’ll probably say, ‘Be, don’t tell!’ because ‘Being’ is natural, authentic and has a certain quality of ease-ness.
In an age of proliferative digital use, we need more staunch book supporters. Books not only allow us to delve into another world but also more importantly, keep our alarmingly scattering minds from rapid decline!
Here’s to Books!
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