Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Letting My Own Child Choose Her Books

As a teacher I'm all about choice in reading and not limiting my students to levels or curriculum or genres.

Teacher Me: You love that one series that is horribly written and just makes no sense? I don't, but go ahead and read it! I'll cringe in my head as you happily pour through your beloved books, and feel happy that you've found something that you love reading. I'll work on a list of other books you might enjoy! 

As the mom, though, I'm finding it much more difficult. Is this because my daughter reading means me reading to her and I can't read that awful book about the goat one more time? Or because I want to read the story about Vasya Kandinsky? 

Mom Me: Thursday is Show and Tell. You get to bring your favorite book! Which book do you want to choose? 
Three year old: *names a random book you've only a few times and she complains about when you suggest it most of the time* 
Mom Me: Well, okay, but I didn't realize that was your favorite. * Secretly grateful she didn't choose any of the "bad" ones*
Three year old: It is my favorite. 
Mom Me: Okay. *desperately thinking of a way to sway her towards a "better" choice 
The following day
Three year old: I'm going to bring (fill in the blank) to school! 
Mom Me: What? Why? 
Three year old: It's my favorite. I love it. 
Mom Me: Are you sure? What about (fill in the blank)? 

And it goes on until I realize that I'm not allowing my daughter choice. And I'm keeping her from expressing her genuine excitement for this book because we have "better" books. 

And hours later I'm still thinking about all the books she loves and how this other one gets the status of favorite. Is it just the mom part, wanting the best for my child? But don't I want the best for my other kids? Or is it that as their teacher I can separate my emotions and understand that it's more important that they love their books than they read something that I have deemed good? Or I just want/need my daughter to be a reader and to be the kind of reader I want her to be? 

We still have all day tomorrow to make her choice. And she's three, so it's likely to change at least two more times. The biggest question is whether or not I'll be able to keep my mouth shut and myself out of her favorite book choice. 

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