Thursday, March 12, 2015

Parenting Skills

I realize that many of you probably thought I was dead, and that this blog was extinct...but not so. Yeah, nearly two years have passed. (1 year, 11 months, 5 days (or 704 days), to be exact.)

A lot has happened since I last posted, and much that has kept me from posting. I will simply say this: Life happens.

Today, standing at the counter at the local bookseller, though, ignited me sufficiently to log right in and speak my mind.

I was reading before the age of two, thanks in part to the efforts of my school-teacher mother and father; due also to the prompting, support, and encouragement of my grandparents. And by reading, I mean "reading"--not just STOP signs, but the comics and articles in the newspaper aloud to my grandfather. I love to read. I take a book wherever I go. Reading, to me, is truly an essential. I have also been blessed that all my Horde love to read and read voraciously. I have not had to do much in the way of pushing them to read; they have done it largely on their own.

In addition to my parents, I have grandparents that were teachers, cousins that are teachers, aunts that are teachers. A long line of book lovers and intense readers.

This is my background. This is from whence I come. I am grateful for all of these people in my life and for what they have given me and shared with me.

As I walked into the store, I was practically knocked over by a 11- or 12-year-old trying to get into the store. Normally this would set me off in a "get off my lawn you whippersnapper"-type of internal temper tantrum. Seeing a young man this anxious to get into a bookstore, however, quells that anger.

I did my quick shopping and, as I said, was standing at the counter chatting with the clerk as she rang up my purchases (three of Terry Pratchett's books I'd been meaning to pick up for a long time and today seemed the time, may he R.I.P. But that's another discussion.).

And then I heard this:  A voice dripping with sarcasm and scorn. A mother, her face right in her son's face. Her son, the aforementioned young man, holding a book and looking like he had just had his earth shattered, his foundation broken, and the love of his life murdered in front of his eyes.

 Yeah, because you just loooooooove to read soooooooooooo much, don't you, now?!? 
It was loud enough that most of the front of the store turned to look at the pair. I watched as the boy turned, dejected, and slunk with his tail between his legs to set the book down and walk back to his mother's side. While she continued to peruse the glamor magazines, that is. (And believe me, no amount of printed glamor hints would have helped this woman. Neither externally nor, it seems, internally.)

I can understand not being able to afford buying a book, or a magazine, or some such. I can understand telling your child you cannot afford it and promising to get it from the library.

But mocking and deriding your child's desire to read and actually telling your child how much he should hate books?!?

Parenting skills? Hardly. I would call it close to parental tyranny.

I have heard it said before that, perhaps, people should be required to take classes and obtain a license before rearing children. I have typically laughed that off, or at least, dismissed it largely as histrionics.

Not after today. Certainly not after today.

Read More......