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Q: My nine-year-old son is not reading and not even interested in learning to read. He recognizes letters and can identify some words but has no passion for mastering the skill. We read to him a lot, but are worried about this delay and specially about his lack of interest. What do you suggest?

 

A: I have always been perplexed by the rush to get children to read. Why dictate a certain age for reading? Why not trust the child to acquire what he needs when he is ready? What if later is better? Could reading bring to an end some of the incredible abilities we marvel in young children; their magical memory, acute hearing, imagination, vivid experiences and exuberant artistic expressions?

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My daughter used to draw and sing and my son used to build from blocks and legos. I sang with my daughter and drew side by side with her, and my son and my husband used to build side by side. Gradually both children stopped creating, saying they don’t like to or cannot. My daughter asks me to draw for her and my son asks his father to build for him. We are happy to do it for them (and we do,) but are concerned about their loss of interest in doing things on their own. How can I assist them in enjoying their own creations?

 

 A: Your children stopped creating because you joined them. They want to be the only stars in their own discovery and creation show. Most adults would also lose interest in doing something for themselves, if someone else joined in. By her nature, a child is pleased with her own...

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