You’re Kidding Me!

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“If you keep meeting a boy where he is, he doesn’t go very far.” (from a post by Thomas Spence in the Wall Street Journal.

To me this is one of those obvious statements that surprise me when they are published as a new fact.

The article referenced is on the reading gap between boys and girls and the supposed “solution” of publishing books about bodily humor and functions as a way to stimulate reading interest. As Spence points out this doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference to reading.

I think his point that meeting boys where they are doesn’t get you very far has a much greater application than just the reading gap. Think about it for a minute: if I meet my 3.5 year old where he is, I will never train him how to handle his temper or his need for personal space and quiet-time. If I meet the 2.5 year old on her level and only on her level then she will probably grow up to be a very whiny and incapable individual.

The thing is that we do need to be aware of developmental levels and abilities but we need to teach, train and encourage our children (and ourselves) to rise above that point. We should always be working with and for our children to help them become more than what they are. After all do we really want a houseful of teens with the attitudes and temper tantrums of two-year olds?

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