|by foxumon via sxc.hu|
pretty good fantastic Mom. And sometimes I am spectacular, evoking my
days as a 4-H camp counselor. But when
I'm tired, overwhelmed, it's Monday, or any other number of situations, I can
be a real lousy lady.
I'm reading the 10 Greatest Gifts I Give my Children by Steven W. Vannoy and hoping to store some of the tips in my parenting purse for those too-frequently-occurring lousy occasions.
I was struck by how consistent the advice for raising kids is with advice on writing for kids, such as:
Let kids develop their own solutions when problems strike. Quoting the book: "No more rushing to rescue the younger ones, no more moralizing [to older ones], no imposition of adult solutions to the kids' problems."
Kids watch what we do, so "modeling" the right behaviors is an important parenting tool. How effective is "eat your vegetables" if you don't have a mouthful of green beans? May I have another spoonful of "show don't tell," please?
Valuing kids' feelings is critical - even though they aren't 'adult' problems and even though they don't have as many words to express them. We need to respect the concerns of our little main characters even if they seem like insignificant issues.
I shouldn't be surprised by the similarities, really. Writing rules weren't developed to serve some sort of Literary Emperor. They exist because understanding how children work is necessary to write great books for children to enjoy. (Well, and to sell those books...what's Christmas without a little bit of capitalism?)
Happy Holidays everyone!