The Gentle Voice of a Loving Father

Posted: October 19, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The Gentle Voice of a Loving Father (share this message if you agree)

There is a statement, supposedly from a study, that the average amount of time American fathers spend talking to their children is five minutes. If this is anywhere near the truth, I’ll bet much of the time what the children hear is:

  • Clean your room.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Wash the dishes.
  • Go to bed.

Having done much of that myself, I am sensitive to the pressure on fathers to hold a job and take care of their families. Raising children is a battle, and even the “easy” kids have moments when they are a challenge. Parenting courses tell us to “do this” and “say that”. But, somehow in the midst of a parent/child battle, all good advice gets forgotten.

We give our kids so much: shelter, food, education and entertainment. What goes wrong to cause the sweet little munchkins who adored us to become rebellious fifteen year olds who act like they don’t want to know us? This Point to Reading blog is definitely NOT about giving you one more thing to do or say. But, it is about a surprising benefit you and your child will receive when you read with your child the PTR way.

When people hear about Point to Reading, they automatically assume it is about teaching children to read. PTR is no more about teaching kids to read, than eating is about teaching kids to chew. If you put something tasty in a child’s mouth, they somehow manage to chew, swallow and ask for more. Nobody is surprised by what kids do if we offer them something nasty—they spit it out. So what do we do in the reading world? We force children to eat (read) tasteless junk for years before allowing them to enjoy anything good.

Something wonderful happens when a parent spends thirty minutes reading a really good book with a child the Point to Reading way. Instead of boring exercises and workbooks, the child gets to share an adventure with his parent. Instead of the torture of being made to sound out big words the child doesn’t know or understand, he gets to discuss the meaning of the amazing story they are reading together.

Imagine a child getting thirty minutes with his father and not once hearing a criticism or complaint—just encouragement and companionship. Do you think eight months of this, three or four times a week could build the kind of relationship that might cause a child to still want to talk to his father in ten years?

Point to Reading is how we can get fathers to be a positive influence in their children’s lives. Imagine the difference this could make in our country. And, as a side benefit, the child just happens to become an excellent reader. 

astronaut with PTR

Henry Skinner-Larsen is the author of Point to Reading and the PTR Jumpstart Manual. The principles of Point to Reading™ are based on the belief that our children are smarter than we imagine and can learn way faster than we allow. In addition, we can best prepare our children for success by sending them to school already knowing how to read. That way, children can learn and teachers can teach.

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