You were so excited to read Where The Wild Things Are to your son, that maybe you did it a little too early. They were scared, they wanted to read something else instead. You loved My Side of the Mountain when you were their age, but when you tried it last year, it just didn’t land with them. Or maybe you hated Gatsby as a kid and now your kid is reading it in high school.
There seems to be a disconnect. A gap between you and your kids. Now what?
Now you should try again. As the Stoics say, we never step in the same river twice, and nowhere is this more true than with books. Great writing stays the same…and is somehow different each time we dive back into it. Because we’re different. Our kids are definitely different, because they’re growing so much.
Reading to and with your kids is essential but so is re-reading. Books must be given more than one chance. Your six year old will notice completely different things that they did at two. Just as you yourself might be in a better position to finally understand and appreciate what was happening in Little Women or The Great Gatsby or Huckleberry Finn.
We’re trying to raise readers and one of the best ways to do that is to re-read. Not just once but many, many times. We never step into the same river twice, but each time we do, we become better swimmers. So it is with books and being good readers.
Don’t give up. Don’t get distracted. Don’t move on. Keep returning to the classics. They’re classic for a reason.