As a parent of young kids, my Facebook feed is inundated with articles about parenting, and this week everyone seems to be passing around this piece by Leonard Sax, the famous child psychologist. Evidently, in his new book THE COLLAPSE OF PARENTING, Sax argues that, “American families are facing a crisis of authority, where the kids are in charge, out of shape emotionally and physically and suffering because of it. He calls for a reordering of family life in response.”
Now, I haven’t read the book yet, but in the article Sax offers some concrete advice for helping parents regain their authority– no cell phones in kids’ rooms at night, family dinners, no earbuds in the car, and getting outdoors. All of which are certainly good pieces of advice that I’ll take to heart, particularly how to handle electronics when the kids get to the age of fully abusing them. It’s already starting with my seven-year-old, who fancies himself a budding iphone film director…
Yet, I have to say, among Sax’s advice was one glaring omission that should be obvious to anyone in our industry– what about reading?
Perhaps Sax does encourage reading to one’s kids in his book (like I said, I haven’t read it yet), but I’m a little disappointed he doesn’t list reading as a primary method for helping families. I would think the daily structure of a child listening to a parent read aloud, particularly at bedtime, would be an ideal way for parents to reclaim authority from their kids. And of course, the benefits of
reading are pretty darn fundamental, don’t you know– and don’t just take my word for it, it’s science!
So, how many of you read or used to read to your kids aloud? And thanks to that reading, were your kids absolute angels who always respected your authority? Of course they were! So I’ll be curious when I read THE COLLAPSE OF PARENTING to see if Sax does actually encourage reading aloud–if anyone has read it yet, please let us know!