New Year Challenge

This is the week people talk about New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like some of us, perhaps yours fizzle out quickly, like a Fourth of July sparkler.
So, want a resolution that’s easier to keep and one you can feel good about at the same time? Keep reading. This begins with a true story.
When our older children were small, we lived in a dangerous neighborhood and hesitated to send them outside to play unless an adult could watch them. The dilemma: I nursed our babies and had “indoor time” on my hands every few hours during baby feeding time.
The answer? Reading aloud! I sat the children around me on the sofa while I nursed the baby and read aloud a variety of children’s books each day. In a short while, it seemed like we had them all memorized. But it got better than that.
One day, our five-year-old daughter said, “I know which word says God.” I asked her to point to it, and she did with a shy smile.
“That could be a coincidence,” I thought. Happily, I was wrong. Not long afterward, the same five-year-old picked up a third-grade reading book and began reading fluently. It was a jaw-dropping moment.
Her younger sister, at age five, repeated the feat of suddenly reading at a high level of proficiency before she attended school. We had chosen not to have a television, so we knew they hadn’t picked up learning from Sesame Street.
So, how does this apply to any of us in the new year?
Investing concentrated time in children pays terrific dividends. We as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, can lay a solid foundation for learning and healthy emotional development if we will put aside our own interests for a while and give our children one of the most precious commodities we can give them: time.
So, want an easy resolution for the new year, one you can keep (because once you start, it’s hard to say no to cute little faces, begging you to read)? Let’s put down our cell phones, cut back on media, and invest in this nation’s future: our children.
Now THAT’S a resolution worth keeping!