Sunday, June 26, 2016

Reading a book to a child sends them a love letter that will last forever.

How many love letters have you received in your life? Have you saved them? No grown up ever forgets the love they felt when they were read to as a child. The intimacy that lives inside a shared reading experience is not something one forgets.

Recalling childhood reading and their impact is to saunter down memory lane—discovering some of what made you who you are today. To read to a child is like rereading your own childhood—the one you had or the one you wished you had had. The words our parents read to us are haunted by a sense of well being.

When my sons were little, I started the habit of dating and inserting the location of where we were when we read the book. Another habit of mine is to write an inscription—it confirms that every book you give is indeed a gift.

I now pass on those books to other children and I inscribe them to the current recipient of the book. The inscriptions I wrote to my sons, still stand. The sentiment continues to be—Dare to dream. Put on your roller skates. Go and see the world and make a difference along the way. Dare to be who you are. Dare to Become who you want to be. Love, forever and a day.

My sons are now adults with children of their own. My inscriptions have not change, but I harbor one additional wish for them now—embrace the idea that the journey to Dare to become the man you want to be—never stops and books are wonderful companions to have on your journey, to know and better understand yourself and the world. Often in books, we meet the one character we are most reluctant to  know—ourselves.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The gift of summer

The first day of summer conjures up memories as well as anticipation for those long and lazy days of summer. Unfortunately, and to a child’s detriment, the idea of unstructured time is not something they have much experience with.

Think of what our world would be like without time to just Be in the moment.Those unstructured moments are a greenhouse of possibilities— encouraging children to tap into their creativity, aspirations, hopes and dreams.Those moments grow A Self

Create the space children need to replenish their heart and mind. This young girl captures the essence of what I wish summer could be for all children. Some of us remember the experience of reading as part of childhood, but everyone who has been read to, has in their memory bank, the hours, listening, watching the face of the person reading aloud to them.

Maybe this little girl will grow up and become a great tennis player, but for sure, the books she reads, the characters that are becoming her lifelong companions, promise to make her life’s journey richer and more satisfying.

Resist the temptation to keep your child programmed 24/7 this summer.
Parents and children will both thrive in those unstructured moments.