Thursday, February 11, 2016

Stop reading

Elli has taken to reading late into the night.  She loves fantasy stories, particularly ones where old fairy tales are retold with big twists on familiar characters.  Both of these things are great in a lot of ways, mostly because it is cool when I see her doing the things I used to do.  I remember very well reading in the wee hours, and desperately turning off my light when I heard footsteps thumping up the stairs as my parents came to yell at me to go to sleep already.

And fantasy stories too!  Mashups of fairy tales with modern storylines!  Retellings that take the traditional hero/villain roles and reverse them!  Love it!

But there is a price to be paid.

Just as in the past, the price is bruised looking eyes, grumpy mornings, and exhaustion.  Elli just won't get the amount of sleep her body craves and it is definitely affecting her school performance as well as general likeability.  It is harder to be friendly to someone who snaps at you because they can't cope with the world, especially when you know they could fix that.

It makes me feel all sorts of weird things.  I want to train her to sleep enough to be functional, but I don't want her to stop reading.  I want her to acquire good habits, but I know that parents rarely can do much about this; it is mostly random.  Plus it is hard to say "Don't do all the things I did, you know how badly *that* will go!

So I fuss at her and tell her to put the book down.  I think she should know that I recognize the difficulties her reading is causing her.

But I don't put too much torque on it.  I know that it isn't likely to matter much if I do, and she will be all right in the end.  There are many worse things a kid can do to their long term prospects than be an avid reader.

I wonder if my parents reached the same conclusions with me back in the day when I was reading the Twins series by Weiss and Hickman for the billionth time, and they saw my light on after midnight.

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