My kids love books. It is one of the things I am most proud of as a mom. I have been able to, so far, pass on my love for the written word, and this makes me incredibly happy.
Although they are still young (almost 3 and 1) and are not reading yet I “catch” my son “reading” very often. He picks a book, sits down in one of his many reading spots and can stay there for fairly long stretches of time looking through the pages. My daughter seems to be following on his footsteps, as her favorite activity right now is taking every book off shelves as well as ripping pages off of books.
Since becoming a mother I have read very little compared to how much I read before. I read a good amount of newspaper and magazine articles on-line, I also read parenting and food blogs, but I have read just two books since my son was born, one of them was a parenting book.
However, I have enjoyed reading novels for many years, and as my children grow I look forward to reading more.
This is what I’ve done to foster my kids’ love for books:
- Read every night: Our bedtime routine includes reading three books. Sometimes I am really tired and don’t want to do it, but I do anyway.
- Keep it a positive experience: Even when my kids don’t want to sit and listen I read, but I never force them to sit down or get upset about their lack of attention. They can play while I read. They are hearing the words and that is fine with me.
- Books are everywhere: We have books in their room, in the playroom and in the living room. They are easy to reach and no book of theirs is off-limits. This sometimes means that I find books with ripped pages, but I am OK with this. I do tell them that books need to be taken care of, but I don’t want them to be afraid to handle them.
- Comfy reading spots: We started reading while sitting on a rocker, and now that we’ve transitioned my son to a bed we read on it at night. In the playroom there is a dedicated reading nook where I often find him reading.
- Time at the library: We go to Story Time at the library almost every week, and almost every week we check out new books to bring home.
- We read all the time: Although we read every night, we also read before nap time and during the day whenever we feel like it.
Our family also knows of the importance of books, and they give us books as gifts often. My mother-in-law also reads to my son via Skype. She did this once and he loved it so much she now has to have books around every time we call her because he asks her to read to him.
What I am not yet doing, but I know I need to, is read books in front of my children so they see that reading is important and fun through our entire life. I am not quite there yet, but I hope to be soon.
Do your kids love to read? Did you do something to foster this?