Parents: Don’t Be Boring, Relentless Teachers
It’s snuggly time with your little one, who is not even in kindergarten yet. His little head rests against your shoulder as you open up a picture book. “See?” you say, pointing not to the furry bunny or diabolical cat or tree that keeps amputating herself. “These are the words on the page. This sentence has seven words. This dot is called a period, and it shows the end of a sentence.”
At least, that’s what you’d do if you followed the stultifying advice in a recent Parents magazine piece on how to “Supercharge Every Storytime.” And that’s what we’re here to talk about today: parents who believe they must supercharge every story time, and all the rest of the time they spend with their kids as well.
These parents seem to believe that home must be just like school. And I’m not talking about homeschooling or COVID-19 remote learning. I’m talking about the way parents have started to think of themselves as actual teachers and their kids as students.
Haven’t parents always taught their kids? Yes, of course, says anthropologist David Lancy, author of Raising Children: Surprising Insights From Other Cultures (Cambridge University Press). What’s different today is that interactions at home are modeled on what goes on in the classroom, where an adult instructs and a student sits and (with any luck)
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