I have suggestions for New Year’s resolutions for parents, and, not surprisingly, they all involve the Springfield-Greene County Library District, and, of course, reading.
“All the parents I know strive to do the best they can for their children,” said Nancee Dahms-Stinson, the library’s new youth services coordinator and the mother of two daughters. “Parents know the importance of reading and books to the future success of their children, but sometimes we need to step back and make sure we are nurturing our children’s reading habits and library skills.”
So, parents, resolve in 2007 to:
- Allow your children to see you reading.
- Read aloud to your children—even the older ones. Start from the cradle; it’s never too early.
- Make reading a daily habit; make sure your child reads something every day.
- Encourage the older sibs to read aloud to their younger brothers and sisters.
- Suggest that the younger kids read to the dog or cat.
- Take advantage of downtime commuting by listening to an audio book in the car.
- Play a “game” of reading the signs along side of the road while on a long-distance car trip.
- Make relaxing with a book a part of the bedtime ritual.
- Encourage reading of all kinds—magazines, newspapers, novels, comic books, even a web page.
- Subscribe to children’s magazines and leave them around for the kids to pick up.
- Urge your child to read the book that inspired the movie, i.e., read E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” before you see the movie of the same title.
- Play games with your children and ask them to read the directions.
- Buy the kids a journal so they can list the books they’ve read.
And, finally, work into your routine a weekly visit to one of the eight branches or bookmobile of the Springfield-Greene County Library District. Choose books together and make it an outing.