Teach Your Children Well

Geez, I am so sad for some kids. There is a woman sitting in the library with her child imprisoned in a stroller next to her, with nothing but a TOOTHBRUSH to entertain himself with, while she does something on a computer. He’s about two years old, so chewing on things has lost the thrill it once held for him. Still, he is mostly quiet and well behaved – babbles to himself sweetly for a while and then sort of groans in what I interpret as boredom. Her response is to jerk the stroller closer to her and snap at him to “Be quiet!” Ummm . . . hello? Library? BOOK? Do ya think that adorable curly-topped head might have a brain inside of it that needs some stimulation?

I went to the children’s section and found a board book (anticipating correctly her eye-rolling objection that “He’ll just tear the pages”) and then after pointing out to her the durable pages, gained her permission and handed it to him. He clutched it and looked at me, almost smiling but like he wasn’t sure what to do. I smiled back, pointed to the book and said enthusiastically, “Look at the bears!” Then he looked down and slowly started turning the board pages and looking at the pictures. He’s been bent over the book intently for several minutes now. I’ve heard him chuckle a couple of times, and he looked up at me and smiled once.

You will never hear me saying that parenting is easy. But Godfrey Daniels! There are some elements of it that are pretty dang simple, and when I see someone blessed with a child and seemingly unable to grasp the really basic stuff, it worries me. If I hang around long enough, I’ll probably have that kid in my high school class, and he’ll probably look at me like I’m an alien when I suggest he read something.

Please – surround your children with books they can enjoy from an early age, and read to them often. It is one of the least expensive ways you can find to entertain them – free if you use the library – and the rewards are invaluable.


About dahnajeen

I'm Donna Jean Hunter. I'm also Donna Cox - former married name and the name I share with my children and with my ex-husband, father of my children, and friend, David Cox. My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Patterson told me I was a great writer and would be an author when I grew up. She always had me read my stories to the class, and even took me around to the other classrooms to have me read to them. I'm pretty sure the other kids all hated me that year. I don't care though. I love Mrs. Patterson. Of course she did not know then about the Internet and blogging, how much of what people read would no longer be on paper - and how much of it would be done for free! - when I grew up. I have had 10 or 12 of my pieces published in college literary journals, and for a while during college, I actually received pay for working as a technical writer. Then for a few years I taught writing to teenagers as a high school English teacher. But other than that, I can't say I'm a writer in the sense that it is what I do for a living. But I am a writer. I have been all my life and can’t see myself ever stopping whether anyone reads it or not. I hope someone enjoys some of it.
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2 Responses to Teach Your Children Well

  1. Jamie Allen says:

    That is kind of sad. But it’s sweet how you helped.

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