A month ago, I caught my son holding a dictionary and intensely reading it. It was a surprise for me because he is more inclined into ready books with pictures or anything with colorful pages.
That dictionary day was followed by another, then another. When he’s not doing anything, he’s at a corner or inside our bedroom reading the dictionary. That’s what I thought.
Then, the “AHA” moment came when he came to me giggling and shared to me what he read: A Garfield comics strip! So, technically, he was not reading the dictionary but was reading the comics strips found in it.
Did I get angry or frustrated? Not at all. I like it when my son comes to me and shares what he reads – be it a funny part of a story or just a joke that he randomly read. Those comics’ strips, simple as they look like, still contain words that can improve his vocabulary and his sense of grammar.
I think we should let our children read anything that interest them. Though it feels good when they pick the books that we want them to read, it is still easier and less stressful for us if we just let them read what they want. If you have a hesitant reader, comics strips mean a lot.
I cannot force my son to be just like the other kids his age who are probably reading Harry Potter series or Lord of the Rings. I cannot force him to like the books that I liked when I was his age. He has his own favorites, his tastes. I cannot let him read books that do not appeal to him. My role is to know what he wants and from there, search for books that can get his attention.
Josh still picks up the dictionary every now and then. He already read all of the strips but he loves going over them. And he still giggles every time he encounters some funny lines.
And, by the way, I am also a Garfield fanatic before. My first drawing was Garfield and my nickname was derived from Garfield’s dog, Odie, only spelled as ODY.