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Isobella Jade is a self-described author, model, and new mom who claims to have both beauty and brains to make her a total package.
She instigated a new baby book blog called Phoenix Baby Book Club, where she features her son Phoenix’s reading adventures and encourages new parents to start reading early — even in the womb. Jade, known in New York City’s fashion world as a petite model at 5-feet-2 inches, says her career took off when she wrote her first book at the Apple store when she did not have a computer.
“After I shared my underdog story I started getting a following and it grew from there,” says Jade, who went on to write three more books, and claims she is not quitting anytime soon.
She quickly learned that talking about how to get ahead as a shorter model was just one way she could reach out to young adults. She found that keeping things interesting and inspiring helped maintain her following. Instead of just being discovered as a model, she was starting to discover herself and wanted to teach young girls the lessons she had learned.
“I gave them an awareness of being careful and talking to their parents about what they are doing,” says Jade.
Her lessons grew more serious after she had a baby boy, who is now 2 ½ months-old and already working with a modeling agency in the city. Not only is he attractive, he is a wise little man.
“We share the books we are reading together with others, and since my mom was a reading teacher, reading is a common nature to me,” says Jade.
When parents like to read, their children pick up on it.
“It is the best part of my day when I read to Phoenix, which is in the morning and before dinner time,” says Jade.
She considers it a special moment when she can introduce her son to the beauty of the world.
“He gets to hear words he might not have heard in everyday life, see pictures, ignite his senses, and see colors,” she says. If you fear your toddler may not be able to sit still long enough to read a book, don’t try to fight it, but rather, try to set aside 10 minutes a day, she advises.
“Parents can make it fun. I make noises myself and am animated but humanistic,” says Jade, adding she talks to her son like he is 4 years old instead of treating him like a baby.
Jade suggests that parents find teachable moments when reading to their children.
“We have paintings on our walls so I go through the colors and tell him to look at red, white, green, and go through the rainbow,” she says. You may find you get a positive response from your child. “I make him giggle and it is fun, but you have to have the right attitude so it is a good experience.”
The key is to acknowledge the world around you and not be afraid to be yourself, she says.
“It is weird reading to him because I am not sure if he understands me and he probably does not understand every word, but he does understand my expressions and the way I move my mouth,” says Jade.
Parents can also get their children involved by making reading interactive.
“Notice what is going on on the page that you can talk about, like the clouds, cool motorcycle, or owl, so it is more fun than just reading the sentence,” says Jade. Use household items as you narrate. “If you have a stuffed animal or cool truck to incorporate — or other things in your room that are a color from the book, like a lampshade or couch — talk about it.”
The more you practice reading aloud, the better you will feel about it.
“You have to bring your positivity, excitement, and positive voice to it,” says the mom. Try to gage how your child is feeling. “I talk to him and ask how he is doing, and he will smile and hear my tone of voice and pitch go up when I am happy or excited.”
And make sure to give your baby credit where it is due.
“They pay attention and are so smart, and that can be taken for granted,” says Jade.
Each child’s interest level varies, but all seem to care in their own way.
“It is not about if they are looking at every page, but they are listening and engaged,” she says.
While the key is to start young, literacy matters for all ages.
“I love advocating for everyone to read so they can keep their wonder and imagination going, take a moment to escape, appreciate the story of someone else, learn so much, and appreciate the world and their own life and others better,” states Jade.
She says she is most proud of how she is raising and portraying her family.
“It is one thing to be admired and liked for how you look, but it is another to have a perspective, opinion, be observant and appreciated,” she says. “I am glad people think Phoenix is cute, but I love it when people say Phoenix is smart.”
Jamie Lober, author of “Pink Power” (www.getpinkpower.com), is dedicated to providing information on women’s and pediatric health topics. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2012 Jamie Lober
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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