First off a quiz: recognize the quote? You mean you haven't memorized Hamlet? Shame on you!
Words seem to be a hot topic around our house these days. We were at my dad's house the other day when he made this comment (sorry if I dont get it exact, Bogey-man), "I am amazed when I hear people say they don't read or they don't like books. To me that is like saying you don't drink water or you don't like air." I love that! That is the attitude my parents raised us in. My husband and I agreee that that is one of the most important things we want to pass onto our kids. We have a very large library that I hope our kids will always enjoy browsing.
We then had a discussion with Beeper about being verbal. "Mama is verbal. Bogey is verbal. Beeper is verbal." My dad is most definitely verbal. It is no surprise it has been passed onto his kids and right down into is grandkids.
At Momformation this week, Susan Markel M.D. posted an article called, "Talk is the Greatest Teaching Tool," about how important it is to talk to babies and some statistics on the subject. Can you spot my comment? (I don't exactly advocate tv watching in young children, or any children, or anyone. But I do advocate not making mommies feel bad when they turn on the tv for a little while in order to save their sanity.) Do you notice something else about the comments? Most of them are about tv! The article only makes a very small mention about the AAP's guidleines for tv and young children. So where did all these comments come from? A teaser at the top of the BabyCenter page linking to the article, “Save your baby’s mind - turn off the tv.” Talk about the influence of a few words. That's not the first time the tone of the teaser has colored how people read an article.
Switching gears a little, I read another great article about the affect of words today: Is it okay for kids to think they're special? over at Motessori for Everyone. She gives her own thoughts on a recent msn article about the result of telling kids too often that they are special. I really like her take. It's some great food for thought. It also reminded me of another article on Momformation by Betsy Shaw about the dangers of lavishing too much praise on your kids. Readers chimed in with lots of tips on appropriate way to praise. It's definitely worth a read.
I read a comment on a blog recently that one lesson the blogger had learned from being a parent is that words can hurt much more than stick and stones. Apparently words can hurt, teach and create a world of little Napoleans if not selected carefully. Who knew?
Hopefully coming soon: My review of Writing the Artist Statement - all about an artist's relationship to words.