There are many books today, and therefore you can choose those that will be of interest to both the child and ourselves.
At a planning meeting in the editorial office of 74.ru, we recently talked about reading. At first, of course, everyone was struck by the memories, who both got hooked. Then it turned out that in us, young parents, there is a fear that the children will follow the crooked path of YouTube. Journalist Artyom Krasnov, raising a schoolboy son, thought about how to instill in him a love of reading.
- When I was fifteen years old, my father somehow freaked out and exclaimed: "You don't read much!" He grabbed Remarque's Three Comrades from the shelf, handed it to me, and that was the turning point. I really liked the book and sparked an interest in reading. A side effect, however, was an interest in the use of spirits, which Remarque described with his inherent skill (it is strange that I was not carried away by lame prostitutes). And now I am a parent myself and reflect on the same questions: “How to make a child read? And is it necessary?"
Before judging children, let’s admit that books play an ever-decreasing role in our lives. If we have an idle interest in lions, we don't read Mine Reed, but watch a cool video. If we want to unwind, we turn on the series, which is hardly worse than pulp fiction. It is possible to identify well-readness and education (spirituality) only with a lot of reservations.
This opinion is shared by the children's writer and mother of four children Ulyana Biserova:
“We need to discard the edifying tone and all Soviet attitudes: they say, a book will make you a cultured person,” she says. - For the borscht recipe, we go to Youtube, for information - to Wikipedia. And the children today are loaded up to the top at school, with tutors, in sections, in English courses. And if they want to spend the remaining couple of hours on funny videos, and not reading a boring novel, should they be blamed for lack of spirituality?
And yet, intuitively, we feel that it is not a bad thing to reveal the joy of reading to a child. What for? I fully imagine the future, the inhabitants of which are sick with dyslexia of a special kind: they are able to read the text, but do not perceive artistic images - only the protocol specifics: who, where and why. And Nabokov's phrase: "… she laughed well, as if quietly overflowing" - is perceived by them literally, as if the heroine "liquefied" from laughter, but did it quietly - a decibel by thirty.
Humanitarian zombies of this kind will be easy to manipulate, at least because their world will be limited to corporate products: TV shows, social networks, games, virtual reality. Did you know, for example, that there is a growing number of people in the world who believe in a flat earth? There are some eerily compelling shows on Youtube about this topic.
Books can also be "false", but mostly they are created by loners for other loners, and, having passed the sieve of time, literary texts have the greatest immunity to the delusions of the century.
My son is about ten years old, but I keep reading aloud to him.
“Many people perceive this as a duty for a while, until the child begins to read on his own,” says philologist and literary editor Nadezhda Sukhova. - But in pre-revolutionary Russia, for example, it was one of the forms of leisure, and not at all because there was no TV or computer. Works of art bring people together in experiences. It used to be read by whole families.
My son and I choose books by prior agreement: I propose whether he approves or disapproves. If the book seems boring, we give it up halfway: this was the case with Mumiy Troll and The Wizard of the Emerald City. I liked both books very much as a child, but my son was not hooked. But "Muff, Polbotinka and Mokhovaya beard" entered both of them.
- Do not discount the child's tastes by criticizing books that he likes and imposing those that you liked in childhood, - advises Ulyana. - Do not create an exam atmosphere by forcing the child to retell the plot or draw "moral conclusions" from the books. And never make sure to finish reading an unloved book - it's like shoving cooled semolina into it.
People with a pedagogical squint will object that, they say, the book should develop and teach, and not plunge into the abyss of sin, like my experiments with Remarque. This is true, but everything has its time. For example, my childish interest in reading completely disappeared at school because of the depressed Russian classics, who were catching up with horror and thus seemed to multiply it in my life.
The answer should not come before the question. Children are not always preoccupied with the problem of small people in society - maybe they are more interested in how to arrange their personal life and whether they need to worry about the trinkets of a rich classmate. I am not saying that books should be delightfully empty, like Bon Jovi's songs, but at least in tune with a child. And then from the contemplation of the Meyer's wall, together with the dying of consumption Hippolyte, I myself became slightly greenish.
- The school curriculum has not changed for decades, - says Nadezhda Sukhova. - Children study literature written two hundred years ago. She, of course, instills taste and carries an educational moment, but the realities that the child sees in those works are not very clear to him.
Compounding this is a general lack of time: when a smartphone demands attention like a newborn, even reading this two-page post requires incredible dedication from you.
- Listen, if the task is to defeat a football team from a neighboring yard or to get the attention of the first beauty in the class, the child will not have time for a book, - says Nadezhda. - Just like an adult who is about to be fired from his job.
Reading is better to weave into the child's lifestyle without punitive excesses. If a child has favorite books - any - he will develop his ability to immerse himself in the text, which is already an achievement in modern times.
“Reading is a fascinating activity, a cinema in your own head, an opportunity to live a thousand lives,” says Ulyana Biserova. - This is a pleasure, not a punishment. And children should perceive it that way.
Not bad, by the way, if reading at times develops into a dialogue, because any book is not a petrified pile of letters, but something alive and controversial.
“At first it is difficult for children to express their thoughts and feelings, so we must teach them this,” says Nadezhda Sukhova. - Always express your opinion about what you read, just do it unobtrusively. This Draco Malfoy turns me on! Nasty type …”- you can start reading with such phrases. Or “How dashing they dealt with the tower guards! I really respect Frodo."
Today's children live among screens, from which a thin puree of entertainment is poured, which does not require chewing efforts from their brain. Sometimes, when I offer a book, I run into my son's phrase: "I've already seen the cartoon." And I do not insist, otherwise he will get the impression that books are written based on cartoons.
Uliana generally looks at the prospect of making a child reading with a well-known skepticism:
- As the literary critic Galina Yuzefovich said, trying to interest a child in reading today is like making a fire in the rain. Not completely impossible, but quite difficult.
And all the more ridiculous are attempts to appeal to the child's conscience and force him to read books alien to him.
- Forget the exclamations from the series: "I just can't make him sit down for reading!" or “I've read only one book over the summer!” Nadezhda Sukhova thinks. - Condemnation creates feelings of guilt, and the child begins to hate reading, because it turns from entertainment to duty.
Compulsion doesn't really work. As a child, I was forced to master Jack London's White Fang. The book struck me as gloomy and vague. Of all the text, the only phrase stuck in my head: "The meat was delicious, and White Fang is hungry." I don't know what she taught me. The meat really tastes good. Here Jack London was very perspicacious.
Probably, we will have to smuggle books into the child's life almost by smuggling, which implies a flexibility of approach: maybe at first he will get carried away with something lightweight in order to gradually increase the degree, as I have been doing since that time of remarks.
Maybe my approach won't work. But as long as my son does not mind reading, I will continue.
“It's a pity for Kit, so it's your own fault,” he concluded when we read the scene of the death of the Pilgrim's crew in The Fifteen Years Captain: the boat was sunk by a whale protecting the whale.
And I agree. The whalers got their soup deservedly.
Do your children read books outside of the school curriculum?
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In the previous section "Opinion" Artyom discussed whether the mortgage is an invention of the devil.