Father: „Following a report by Sunday with Lubach a discussion arose between me and my girlfriend about the reading skills of Dutch young people. A library passed by with a dog that the children could read to. The idea was that the dog does not judge and does not correct and thus makes reading fun and gives self-confidence. My girlfriend thought that was a good idea with the mindset that corrections should be made at school but reading outside of it should be fun. I went a bit out of my mind with a comment that the delicate children’s souls are not allowed to hear anything confrontational anymore. I believe that you also get better at something by being pointed out to your ‘mistakes’. Of course you should not always point out every mistake, it has to be in balance with building self-confidence. What is the best approach for our daughter (only ten months) later? And how do you, as parents, reach a consensus about opposing ideas about parenting?”
Be predictable and reliable
Marga Akkerman: „Your question is still too project-based and ignores the personality of your child. The answer to your questions will come as soon as you both start to put yourself in the position of the child when she starts reading. Then you will see for yourself what will make reading enjoyable for your daughter.
“The way of criticizing influences what is learned from it. Because that’s what it’s about. That your child will read better, be more able to be carried away by the story, be open to new information and not be turned off by constantly confronting comments.
“Respectful criticism stimulates learning and emotional well-being. When it comes to learning to read, comments like: ‘This is going well, but you have to pay extra attention to that’ are much more effective than a response like: ‘Wrong, start over’.
„You ask: ‘How do you get better at something?’, but mean: pointing out mistakes makes the other person stronger. That is about something else, namely developing resilience. You can help your child to persevere when things go wrong, or to finish something when it doesn’t feel like it.
“In the end, a child benefits most from parents who are predictable and reliable. Setting requirements for commitment and discipline can certainly be part of this.
“You and your girlfriend could talk about what kind of child you ultimately want to deliver. If you agree on that, details no longer count.”
Encourage to do better
Stijn Sieckelinck: “Mistakes are the beginning of all learning and not the end of it, as is thought in our checkout culture. If you do not name the mistakes, you will deprive your child of the opportunity to learn something. Raising children is also stimulating children to do better, because they do not yet have that knowledge themselves. Indeed, guard the middle here: constantly pointing out ‘not good enough’ makes neurotic, everything aggravated narcissistic.
“At the same time, children need safe havens, places where they are briefly released from the urge to perform. This is where pets come in: loyal friends who offer warmth and attention without any preconditions.
“But reading education is a different story. The commitment of a dog ignores what is really needed: better reading programs in which young people are seduced by stories, in which mistakes can be pointed out to do even better next time. With the influx of unqualified teachers in education and the social media tsunami, parents should start reading more seriously with their children rather than withdrawing.”