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Jan 25 2012

Why I Want My Kids to Read Less

By at 10:14 am
little boy reading a book

Hey kid, put the book away!

My oldest son taught himself to read at age 4. This isn’t a boast. He didn’t speak until he was 3, we found out (way too late; bad Mommy) that he had hearing issues, and I figure the visual was just easier for him to grasp.

My second son, at age 4, didn’t just not read–he threw violent temper tantrums and flung books across the room at the mere mention of it. Not wanting a repeat of the bad Mommy hearing incident, I took him to get his eyes checked. And was told that his vision was 20/20, but that he might benefit from an untested therapy that wasn’t covered by insurance or guaranteed to do anything. You know, just to be safe. I passed. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 2 2011

Fact or Fiction: A Father Responds

By at 11:33 am

What should dads read?

One of the things Ronia’s mother and I argued about was my lack of reading relevant literature, first pregnancy then childrearing books. It is somewhat impossible to argue for not reading them without making excuses for yourself, and I had the same reaction to Dan Friedman’s recent(ish) Kveller post about what men read.

My defense for not reading parenting lit was similar to Dan’s, that I was using my downtime to focus on other things. I still maintain that the parts of our brains that aren’t  devoted to parenting are precious and need to be nurtured. As a stay at home parent, no one was going to guilt me. In fact, I felt like the great advantage of fatherhood is that expectations were so low for me, that I didn’t have to worry about the guilt that people heap on mothers.

Still, I find Dan’s response rather thin. That’s great that Dan reads a lot of literary fiction. I love fiction, and read it too. I could probably even come up with reasons why it makes me a better father. But if you asked me to make a list of “things parents should do that they don’t have enough time for” or more to the point “things fathers aren’t involved enough in,” reading literary fiction would not be at the top of my list. Read the rest of this entry →

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