■ Du Xiaoxin

Parents know that reading is important to their children, but they may not understand it, and the role of parents in reading in particular cannot be ignored. In fact, reading brings more pleasant experiences to adolescents, relieves those negative emotions that are difficult to dissolve, and relieves pressure from academic, social, and family changes.

As early as 2019, a research team at the University of Kansas conducted a detailed coding analysis of the socialization of children's literature, and these studies illustrate the important role of reading itself in the development of children and adolescents. However, according to a survey jointly launched by the Shenzhen Aiyue Public Welfare Fund and the Shenzhen Municipal Government, only 9% of the families in the Shenzhen sample can accompany their children to read once a day, and more than a quarter of parents can ensure that they read once a week, and in some developed countries, even in the working class, half of the parents can accompany their children to read once a day. It can be seen that at present, our attention to parent-child reading is still insufficient.

Read our emotions through books

In the process of promoting early childhood reading, I found that emotional picture books can help children understand their emotions better. For children at this age, although their perception of emotions themselves can be mature and complex, it is difficult to express their emotions. This is also why many times children will attract the attention of adults by being naughty, and sometimes they would rather have the scolding of adults than the neglect of adults. This is precisely because children's emotional needs cannot be expressed directly through words, and children's books may play a key role.

In children's reading, many reading picture books have a good description and relief of emotions, for example, "My Emotional Little Monster" mentioned that "I" emotions are a mess, emotions have a variety of "colors" mixed together, these "colors" are the code of emotions, through different colors to define different emotions, this book on each emotion is carefully expressed, so as to help readers sort out their emotions, and in it mentioned the benefits of classifying different emotions.

The picture books "Fifi is Angry" and "The Day I Shouted", which also express children's emotions, face up to children's tantrums and treat this "angry" emotion as a normal reaction. Anger, frustration and even trick-or-treating can be a sign of unmet emotional needs not only for children, but for every adult. When reading parent-child reading, parents and children can ask each other whether they will have these manifestations in the book, which will help parents and children understand their emotions and why they occur at the same time.

And "I Became a Fire-breathing Dragon", "Crying Princess" and a series of funny and real emotional picture books, but also provide ways to relieve their emotions, such as the mother of the crying princess taught her a mantra, every time she wants to have an attack, try to say it again, such books can help young readers and parents also form their own "mantra" to help alleviate their sudden emotions.

If children are older, the school, social and family environments they face in adolescence will be more complex, and their emotions will be more delicate. In addition to picture books, young readers can also find their own emotional correspondence in children's literature and better understand themselves through other people's stories. "Safe Piglet" tells the story of the boy Jack's fantasy adventure during the festival, but the important event of this adventure is the change of his own family, the divorce of his parents, the remarriage of his mother, and the emotions and conflicts of two children who are unrelated to each other in divorced families are on the verge of breaking out during the festival. In the book, Jack completes his spiritual growth through an adventure, no longer completely dependent on his mother, and completes reconciliation with his own family changes. If parents can discuss with their children with such book content, it will help children better understand the mental journey of the characters in the book, more clearly distinguish their emotions when children themselves may encounter similar situations, and learn how to face them, and most importantly, when they have such emotions, they can find who to communicate with and relieve them; It also helps them understand some of the examples around them, and maybe they can also become a support system for other children.

Choosing open reading materials suggests the possibility of diversified evaluation

Many children have psychological problems because they face high expectations, but eventually produce a low self-evaluation, what parents can do is to try to let children understand and accept that the world is diverse, and evaluation should also be diverse, to help children fully accept themselves. Reading materials with relatively open themes can enable parents and children to embrace a relatively diverse world.

In this type of book, the picture book "The Cow Who Loves Flowers" tells the story of a calf who does not like to participate in bullfights but only likes flowers, and although his mother encourages him to participate in bullfights like other cows, he also fully accepts his own preferences. The picture book "Snow Hundred Princesses" shows children many different kinds of princesses, not only the Snow White they have seen before, but also the princesses who enlisted in the army and the princesses with gray hair, so that children can see and accept diverse beauty and diversified career choices. Recently, I just recommended the story "Oh my God! Wrong! tells the story of the little rabbit following his inner voice, which is fun and gives children great encouragement to express their ideas. These picture books are not only suitable for children, but also suitable for parents, so that parents can have more acceptance of their children.

At present, there are also quite a few children's literature writers who can take the perspective of children and interpret various coming-of-age stories for children with the longing for childhood. For example, the boy Jarry and the girl Jammeh, whom writer Qin Wenjun once wrote, were never perfect children, but real school children, who encountered various troubles in growing up. Everyone goes through struggles to grow and learns from mistakes. Good children's books actually incorporate the author's view of education - I hope that parents can respect their children, help their children patiently, and give their children enough space to grow. By reading such works together, parents and children should be able to develop a deeper understanding of each other.

In adolescence, due to the improvement of children's own reading ability, parents' accompanying reading will decrease, but if different members of the family can read their own books and chat about their own books together from time to time, it will also bring more opportunities for communication; Once there is quality communication, the understanding of each other will be deeper and more acceptable.

Read together, grow together

Children's books play an important role in the growth of adolescents, and the role of parents in them cannot be ignored. Mr. Nao Matsui, who is known as the "father of picture books" in Japan, said that listening to his mother read in his arms affected his life, and it is an affectionate experience that can still be recalled when he is gray-haired.

Parents read stories for their children, and children listen to their parents or look at pictures, which is a warm clip before going to bed. For teenagers, reading together as a family may be more achieved by reading separately and then discussing problems. No matter how to choose the content of reading, reading together itself is an important way to produce better interaction and communication between parents and children, through reading can be used in a metaphorical way, contrast way to communicate their emotions, this emotional communication is silent, but also more for the child to form a strong support system, and the time with each other is always precious, will shine in the long future.

Family reading together also needs the support of the social environment, first of all, for the richness of reading materials to vigorously promote, publishing institutions, school systems, promotion agencies to promote good books to the whole society, and provide different choices for different types of families and children. The second is the support of public cultural institutions for family reading, and if weekend library visits are to become popular family activities, this requires a better child-friendly community environment and a high-quality and high-coverage public library system. To make reading an important auxiliary way to improve the mental health of adolescents and children, it is also necessary to link reading institutions and psychological counseling institutions to make professional content benefit more families through cultural means.

(The author is a researcher at the Institute of Development, Fudan University)