Reading to Kids (Not Goats)

This morning I started reading The Handbook of Research on Children's and Young Adult Literature.  Reading to children is an excellent indicator of future school success. But what I want to know is if reading to children is an indicator of future emotional, mental, and physical health.

Now I'm thinking about my own mixed socioeconomic background as it applies to my reading, learning, and life skills. Not only mine actually, but what life skills were passed from my grandparents to my parents and, further, what I and their equally socioeconomically diverse father passed on to our own children.

Moai which is a lifelong social support system, is largely absent in Americanized society. We value independence over interdependence. We - I am an extreme example of this - move too often and too far to develop and maintain lifelong friendships. Moving takes us away from our family and childhood friends. Being away makes a Moai-type of system impossible for our mobile workforce mentality.

Is it because we invaded and expanded? Is it because we are an automobile society, dependent upon gasoline? Are “American Values” conducive to excellent physical and mental health?

Maybe it’s time we take a look at the life-enhancing values of cooperation over competition, interdependence over independence, and staying home rather than perpetually travelling.

Erica KitzmanComment