WORLD BOOK DAY
That was celebrated worldwide yesterday…..
However, before I tell you my thoughts about it, I want to just say
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR KIND, WARM AND COMFORTING MESSAGES.
So back to world book day…
Little Mark and his daddy shared a book while on the train earlier in the week. In this day and age books have now taken different shapes and forms. This applies to books meant for children and adults. On that day, the book in question was an audio book called “Nuts in Space” written by Elys Dolan.
The truth about books and children is that when you throw “Lauretta” into the mix, what you get is a massive mistake🙀. You won’t believe it but as much as I love reading books, I hate reading stories to children 🙈. There you have it…I said it! I just find it boring and I don’t mind admitting it.
As an African parent, I can confess that I have no recollection of stories being read to me as a child. Stories were “told” to me mainly by my dad. These were very interesting stories by the way.
Story telling is a very important and popular part of African culture but it usually ends there. Even in the villages and cities, people gather round to talk about their day. Visitors come to homes and bring tales with them. Stories about their experiences, other people’s stories and not forgetting “rumours”😀.
I remember “tales by moonlight” on NTA network service as a child. I even remember “storyland by Jimmy Solanke”. We sat and watched-listened to them.
Anyway, the culture of writing down the stories is not as popular as telling them. This is one of the reasons why many integral parts of the culture and facts about ancestry and ways are beginning to be watered down. Simply because elders die with their wisdom and knowledge leaving many guessing.
Books provide an avenue for preservation of thoughts, ideas, fact or fiction. When you write something down, you trap it. You trap the thought as it is and you trap the memory created by that thought process in the pages of that book.
When you are absent, a book also evolves into a tool that speaks for you. It also educates other people about the facts they contain. They create a coherence in the flow of thoughts that can then be learnt by others, built on, discarded or just kept for future generations.
As an African in diaspora, I loved the book culture I met. The book culture inculcated in children from the cradle. Books here create a bonding opportunity for parents and their kids. They can help create stability in a young mind. For example the fact that the child will be read to can be the one thing they find to be constant. Books can also be comforting and soothing to a child by surrounding the child with the voice of the reader when they are being read to.
So bearing these in mind, you will appreciate how lost and inadequate I felt as a mum about the whole “book project!”
The good thing about confronting ones fears is that it is the first step to finding solutions. When you bury your head in the sand, you stay down but when you lift your head up, you find hope.
This led me to discovering that I could use the one thing I was almost locking away from my child- Technology!
The good news for parents like me in this world has been the introduction of technology.
While there are many arguments for and against uniting kids with technology at an early age, I cannot really take a side. At least not today. What I can do though, is tell you about my observation : “Technology can be a saviour for mums- especially if you have been as stressed (caring for a sick child) as I have been these past couple of years.
What I think can become a problem is when you let technology take over parenting. There should be some supervision and guidance in order to maximise the benefits of technology for kids.
The interface that technology provides for children is not only entertaining and amazing but it is also fun! It helps create memorable dexperiences for children. What I love about it is the return patronage element it always has. Children keep asking for devices and wanting to play with them. It also holds their attention for longer than you can barely boast of with kids- including toddlers.
Just as I was about to bin the silly time-consuming devices, I stopped to take a closer look at it. I examined the annoyingly obvious characteristics of technology and balanced it against my parenting inadequacies (especially my story-book- reading-hatred). What I got was a solution!
So imagine carefully mixing play time and study time with some technology. What you can end up with is an engaging interaction between you, your child and the gadget. In the end, as long as you can get your child’s attention (which by the way can be a Herculean task for you the human and an “easy-peezy-lemon-squeezy” task for the device), you may actually end up teaching them some useful skills.
I have learnt to use this new trusty companion to my advantage. You will be judging Mark wrongly if you saw him playing with my phone. It is the one tool that has helped him learn to read and now provides access to tons of books and educative games to help keep his little inquisitive mind fed.
I can now sincerely join the world book day celebrations this year! We enjoyed many books this year. We have listened through the year to stories being read to us by different devices while all we had to do was sit back, relax and pay attention. I have not had to worry about my no 1 parenting flaw of not wanting to read to a child thanks to technology.
World book day should also be a time for us to reflect upon our lives as we aspire for more literacy, information and adventure. Even as adults, are we still reading? Are we still feeding our inner child? Reading allows us escape for a few moments, to be on our own. A book can help earn urs some quiet time- a well deserved rest. Let world book day not be only for our children but for us all.
Don’t worry in my world, magazines, blogs, surfing the web all count! That’s the good thing about being grown ups. We make the rules as we go along 😀
If you are out there struggling like I was with reading to your child, I will tell you one more secret before I leave you be
Do you know that if you type in the name of most toddler story books on YouTube, you would find an audio version being read out by a keen parent? That one is free! Project that to your TV and that buys you a cuddly relaxing time with your child👍
There is always hope for you no matter what circumstance you find yourself in life. Parent or not. What matters is that you identify your challenges so that you will be better positioned to start looking for solutions like I did.
World Book day was a good distraction given my current circumstances and I am thankful. It was a pleasure to celebrate it without any distraction.
I shall keep you posted about how I go and all I am learning about bereavement, grief and loss as I walk through this path. As always, I thank you for reading
So how about you…do you like books?
Thanks for reading.
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Photo Credit: Pixabay.