Buy your child a book today!

Posted December 2nd, 2016.

Categories: Child Custody, Custody Tips, Family Law.

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The art of reading is slipping away quickly these days as children grow up in a world of I-Pads, I-Pods, Androids, Kindles and other messaging and texting devices. Too often, the courts hear about children who are failing basic reading and writing tests and who are emerging from high school as functional illiterates.

For this reason, many judges have been giving greater weight in recent years to the educational and academic performance of children as a measure of their personal growth and development. In trying to determine which parent serves the best interest of the child, a court is likely to emphasize the best educational and cultural interests of the child.

Buying a book for your child is an easy gesture, and it could be the beginning of something great. Ever since I fell in love with book stores and libraries as a kid, I’ve been like a kid in a candy store every time I’m surrounded by books. Getting young children hooked on books is a smart objective for parents….and sometimes it starts by simply buying your child a single book.

Better yet, take your child to the bookstore and let her pick out a book. Or pick out a book for bedtime reading together. If your child has a project, or a special interest, in school, pick out a book related to the project and let your child see how instructive books can be. Young boys often favor sports books, and that’s fine if it gets them excited about reading in general.

A few years back, I handled a hotly contested child custody case on behalf of a mother with two daughters. The father had substantial evidence of the mother’s misbehavior and her alienating actions, aimed at harming the children’s relationship with their father. At first, I did not think we would win the case because the evidence was heavily stacked against my client. But in the end, the judge saw the mother as the parent who bought the children books, taught them to read and to enjoy reading, and engaged them in a cycle of intellectual growth – experiences that weighed heavily in the final custody decision in favor of the mother.

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