Do you know Lewin’s Equation? You’re experiencing its implications as you read this:
B = f (P,E)
Behavior is a function of a Person and their Environment. Our habits, our actions, our lives are determined largely by our surroundings.
What does this mean for us as parents? Well, we’re largely the architects of our kids’ environment. We all have different means and ends, but within those means we control what we surround our children with. The influences. The colors. The moods. The people. The interactions. And of course, the most important thing there is to a child’s intellectual development: The books.
As Horace Mann once put it, “A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books.” Further back, Aristotle filled his house with so many books that Plato nicknamed it “the house of the reader.”
If you want them to be a reader—as we talk about a lot here, and as we built into the commandments of what it means to be a Stoic Parent—you have to design the environment of a reader like an architect. You have to build the house of the reader. You have to surround them with books. Good ones. Silly ones. Short ones. Long ones. Used ones. New ones. You have to display them prominently in your house. You have to take them to libraries and independent bookstores.
If they aren’t surrounded by books, how else could they possibly become a reader?
“Thou Shall Raise A Reader” is the 6th Commandment in The Stoic Parent: 10 Commandments For Becoming A Better Parent. If you want to take your parenting to the next level, The Stoic Parent course is 10 days of the most important things that you can do to become the best parent you can be.