Reading is a fundamental right to our culture and according to readingisfundamental.org, we as parents should start reading to them when they are young and stick with it. At just a few months of age, our children are able to look at pictures, listen to our voices, and even point at objects. This simple task of reading to my children, I must confess – I don’t do on a daily basis (or even weekly).
When I think about it, I may feel a little guilty that I don’t do it as often as I think I should.–Jeff
I can relate, but I’ve also realized something really truthful about myself. I don’t like to read to my kids.
I do not look forward to picking out a book, getting this squirmy little being in my lap, and fighting with them to stop grabbing at the pages. I’m struggling to just mentally prepare myself to sit and read to them without them catching the subtle hints that, man, I really don’t want to do this!
Please child, for the love – sit still and listen, I’m trying to make character voices here!!
I’m sure it’s a learned process, that if I had started young and kept a routine of reading, it would be more pleasant – but I didn’t.If I’m the only mother who genuinely cringes at the thought of a reading session (but will surely do it when a little one asks) that is going to last an agonizing 20 minutes, then so be it. I’m THAT mom.
I love to read, and although I rarely have scheduled reading time, my kids thoroughly enjoy reading once they get over that learning curb. We visit the local library and I simply say, go! I have those who love scifi, mystery, craft books (there goes my crafting budget!), sensory books, and some history books. Since we homeschool, I require my kids to have a healthy balance of “twaddle” books and educational books.
I require my kiddos to follow the Robinson Curriculum of reading books. These are classic books, written in a style long forgotten, that includes proper punctuation, grammar, and elaborate speech formats. These books are not only teaching my children on a subconscious level as they read, but they’re entertaining with real history embedded throughout the pages.
So, no, I don’t feel guilty not reading to my children every night (or week). Just because I don’t love it (or even want to), it doesn’t mean I don’t love and nurture my children’s literacy skills in other ways.
We are a large family, no doubt, however, there are moments we spend together on a deeper level that surpasses “reading time” in our home. In the mornings, I take time to listen to their words, their voices and breathing in their breath. Expressing themselves through words is a must in our home.
If I sense that they are holding back what they really want to say (or need to in some cases), they are deeply encouraged to express it. To use their words, act it out if necessary, and express their feelings, emotions, wins, or whatever it may be... just express it.
As much as I want my kids to sit and listen when I do bust out a book to read, they need me to sit and listen to them even more.
Express yourself child – don’t hold it in.
Whether my children want to vent out their anger, frustrations, excitement, or simply a silent cuddle – THIS is what they get every day. They lovingly receive butterfly kisses and strong comforting arms from daddy, a soft bosom to lie against to hear their mother’s heartbeat and rhythmic breathing from the body that once held them. They know mom and dad are there, speaking softly to them words of
strength, encouragement, and unconditional love.
Who needs a book reading time to do that? #Confession – I don’t like to read to my children every night and so I don’t – I Love to BE with my children every, waking moment.
Photo credits: AndiL.