The Buck Starts and Stops with Parents

Statistics show that poor readers who are identified as having behavioral problems as children are much more likely to drop out of school, have low job skills and pay, adopt unstable work patterns and engage in delinquent activities that lead to incarceration.

by Taticasejuana Bobo Stevens

Eagerness and zeal to read and learn are critical primary skills that are honed from home at an early age. Our children’s development is contingent upon how we mold them from birth. We are their first teachers. They model the behavior they see, so it is imperative that we lead by an excellent example. We teach good manners, proper etiquette, respectable behavior, great civic and citizen conduct and my all-time favorite: an enthusiasm for reading. These life skills are a crucial part of their persona before entering pre-school—or are they? We have all heard the phrase that “it takes a village to raise a child.” I subscribe to this idea and believe in building stronger communities for our families.

Learning is not one size fits all. However, this does not exonerate us from exploring what teaching style works best for our children. Take a look at your kids. No two are alike. That’s what makes learning unique and exhilarating. We must nurture and encourage reading from the womb. Studies have shown how reading stimulates part of a child’s brain to grow and be more active. It increases their vocabulary, comprehension and confidence to speak publicly. Reading spawns great business leaders, creates effervescent imaginations and develops confident communicators. 

“Learning is not one size fits all. However, this does not exonerate us from exploring what teaching style works best for our children. Take a look at your kids. No two are alike.”

Education has always been an integral fiber of my being. Early in my career, I served in law enforcement at a medium- security prison and worked as a community programs director at a children’s group home and in the school system. In hindsight, I see the correlation with reading efficacy, beginning in primary grades. I encourage us to leave no child behind. The time is now to bridge the gap of reading and leading productive lives.

Therefore, the buck starts and stops with us, as parents. Invest in your child’s literacy and knowledge, so that you are not left holding an empty bag. Meet your children where they are, take a trip to the local library or bookstore, or browse books online. Allow them to select an age-appropriate book and share with you the things they found fascinating in the story. Finally, encourage them to write their own stories, too. 

Taticasejuana Bobo Stevens is a Ph.D. candidate and holds an undergraduate degree in accounting and a Master of Business Administration. She is the CEO and founder of Stebeaux’s Educational Enterprises, LLC, where she teaches early childhood literacy from Pre-K to eighth grade.

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