Monday, 15 April 2013

Parenting – or in my case, Grandparenting.

I have just read a new post on Soul Stories Raising Holistic Children which included a link to a TedX video on Hack Schooling which was very good.

This made me think of the Michael Parkinson Masterclass  I watched on TV over the weekend and found it very entertaining and informative although I have never read Michael Morpurgo’s books.  I have an immense interest in children and have often thought of trying to write a children’s book.

Morpurgo’s attitude was that he writes for himself.  Never talk down to anybody.  Children are not too young to learn about global and universal issues such as loss and pain and loneliness and inhumanity and a novel is an ideal way to explore these issues for children.  I presume he is talking about 8 to 14 sort of age group as that is what I would think appropriate. The program also showed footage of how puppets were used for the stage production of “The War Horse” which was fascinating.
This made me think of a book I bought some time ago that I have only half-read.  I’m not quite sure why – just busy and forgot about it probably. Anyway the book is called "Too safe for their own good" - How risk and responsibility help teens thrive,  by Michael Unger, PhD, who, I have just discovered, is now on Facebook.

I see it as my role to contribute something valuable to the lives of my grandchildren. Parents are often too busy to find and read all this interesting and valuable information, let alone utilise in their own busy lives.  My daughter, for example, is 28.  She has 5 children under 8 and both she and her husband are university students.  When my own children were young, I tried very hard to be a good parent and provide a range of opportunities and experiences for them.  We also read each night until they were able to read books by themselves.  One of my friends, I found out, read together with her children all through primary school, which really fostered a love of books.  My children hate to read.  I obviously missed the ball on that one.

Thinking back to my own childhood, I can’t remember my parents ever playing with me or reading to me except for these exceptions.  The whole family used to play Monopoly together once a week for a while.  When swimming, Dad would give me turtle rides where I would hang round his neck while he swam underwater, and once when I was sick with some childhood illness, Mum would read ”Bush Holiday” to me.  The only books I remember loving were about “Tim” by Edward Ardizzone.  I must have read all the Secret Seven’s and Famous Five’s though as the boys next door and I would always be pretending we were them and building cubbyhouses, etc.  It was a different time then.  We were left to our own devices mostly, to create our own fun.

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