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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Positive Parenting Moments

In the middle of an interesting conversation, I excused myself from our Shabbat table. I was so tired; I felt that I couldn't sit up any longer. I just wanted to lie down on the couch and participate from there. That lasted a few minutes. Inevitably, the need to sleep prevailed.

I slept soundly for a while, waking occasionally to settle backgammon disputes between my two youngest children. (The eldest was away this Shabbat)

Eventually, the heavy weight of exhaustion lifted. By now, my two kids were playing nicely by my side. I realized that I had the opportunity for some precious “quality time” with my kids.

I had already played backgammon with them earlier in the day, so I called out: “who wants to read to me?”

My youngest jumped at the opportunity. She read one of her short, 8 page English booklets that she received from school. She even read it the full three times, which meant that by the last reading, she read smoothly, with expression. Great!

Now for the real challenge: could I get my son to read to me too?

I went to the bookshelf and picked out one of the books that I had borrowed from friends who somehow managed to get their sons to read in English. Meanwhile, my son brought another book – one of my Bloom County collections.

I started to question his choice, but then thought better of it. If he chose that to read, then go ahead. (why squash his enthusiasm?) He read the first comic strip. He smiled a bit, but didn’t laugh (not surprising, the humor is way over his head). I turned to him and asked: “did you think that was funny?” He answered: “not really.” Gently, I suggested that the humor in that book was for grown-ups and that he might enjoy a kid’s book more….

I picked up the book that I had chosen and, wonder-of-wonders, he read two and a half pages before requesting that I read as well. Wow! I read the remaining two pages of the chapter. And we both felt great! (and curious about what happens next)


Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,

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