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Read to Your Kids

January 10, 2007

The wisdom from a three-year-old is sometimes the best advice you'll get all day. I'm thinking about taking it to heart.

 

"Read to your kids," my three-year-old said to me this morning as I was soaking her waffle in sugar-free syrup.

 

"What?" I asked, unable to focus because my coffee was still brewing.

 

"Read to your kids," she said, now pointing her little finger at me. "They said it on T.V. so you have to do it. Can we do it now?"

 

I realized she had been watching a public service announcement on PBS that encourages parents to read to their kids. I was momentarily thankful that she wasn't watching another channel where she might have gotten a different message like get your kids a Game Boy.

 

But then I was embarrassed that my daughter was using something she saw on television to scold me about something that I know is important.

 

The truth is that I always read to my older child every night when she was young. Now, she reads out loud to me as part of her homework, but the little one often gets forgotten at bedtime when there is laundry to fold and a dishwasher to unload.

 

I tried to trick her and take her mind off the moment by telling her that there was also something on television about hugging your mother.

 

She didn't buy it. She knew there was no such PSA wedged in between The Bernstein Bears and Little Einsteins. She pulled away and wagged that little finger again.

 

"Didn't you hear me, Mommy? You have to read to your kids!"

 

"Okay, but only if you give me a hug first," I said.

 

We both gave in.

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