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Barack Levin

Author: Barack Levin

At the library

Posted by Barack Levin on 26th February 2011

My efforts to raise independent kids are taking many shapes and forms but the bottom line is very simple – if they can perform a task I can, they should do it. Case in hand – the library. My kids love reading books. My little girl can not read yet so we read the books to her but my older son, in first grade, already reads pretty fluently and he reads all alone. Since they do not have TV at home or computer games, they have plenty of time to nurture the love for books. I might be old fashioned, but I think a kid should know how to read books alone before he is allowed to play on the computer, but this is off topic.

As the post started, in my efforts to raise independent kids I challenge them almost every day in order to achieve this goal. The library is a small but a great example how any parent can achieve the same goal. When we go to the library, I distribute the chores – one kid returns the books and the other checks them out. My son already knows how to pick his own books so he goes off to his section and I go with my little girl to hers. When we are done, they take the library card and step up to the check out and return desk to complete the transaction. I deliberately place myself as far as possible from them so that the librarian will not look at me for answers. She has to deal directly with them. I also taught them to approach her and always speak loudly (because no one can really hear their puny voices) and always look her straight in the eye when they do. My little girl was shy a first, but after several visits to the library became and expert and now demands to check out the books.

This is a great exercise in instilling self confidence in kids, taking the shyness out of them and making them feel all “grown up”. This little trick can be done at the library, grocery store, coffee shop and even the airport. It is really all up to the parent to make that decision.

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