Have a D.E.A.R. Night!


As I travel around the country conducting workshops for parents, educators, and kids, I find that people are way too busy. We all have "too many irons in the fire." As a result, we're often tired, feel overwhelmed, and may also be impatient and irritable.

So may I suggest D.E.A.R? This stands for Drop Everything And Read. Before television, cell phones, and computers, in the evening, people listened to the radio, sat on their front porches, and read a lot. It really was a slower, calmer time and I have fond memories of sitting in a glider on my grand parents big, screened front porch. Many peoples' evenings now are filled with taking kids on the rounds of their over-scheduled lives.

A D.E.A.R. night could be just for you to relax and enjoy a good book. And it could also be that the entire family stops and reads for 20-30 minutes (or more) individually. Or it could be that the family reads the same book out loud together, which is an all-time favorite assignment that I give to many of the families whom I counsel.

I was once training in an elementary school in Houston and I noticed the whole building became silent. I went to the office to find out what was wrong and was handed a book and told to quietly read.Everyone in the school was doing the same. It made for a wonderful day.

If the family reads together, you may have to find a book suitable for all ages,delightful animal stories often work well. For teens and preteens, some great books that I've read recently and loved are Marley and Me about a couple rearing an out-of control yellow lab or From Baghdad, With Love about a marine and his platoon finding a starving street puppy. For the elementary-age child, my children's series are "co-authored" by my savvy Cocker Spaniel Nicholas who makes learning valuable living skills fun. Some of the books in that five part series include Too Smart for Trouble, Life's Not Always Fair: A Child's Guide to Managing Emotions, and Nicholas' Values: A Child's Guide to Building Character (see side bar). And, of course, the classics such as Lassie and Black Beauty are always great to read.

D.E.A.R. teaches your child to like reading and know the importance of taking time to replenish the mind and body. Get a book out soon and turn the pages for a fabulous adventure.

Copyright ©2007, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from author.