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How To Nurture A Love Of Reading With Your Baby:
I’m a reader.
Some of my earliest memories are of my Mom reading to me. She read to us all the time and would drop anything if we came to her with a book in hand.
Reading was an important part of my early education.
I remember in elementary school being bored in school. I would go to the library before school and check out a Nancy Drew book or something similar. I’d read my book all day throughout class and at home. I’d finish the book that evening and then start the process again the next day.
I firmly believe that most of my success in life has come as a result of my love of knowledge. I’m not the smartest person, but I know how to research and find solutions to problems.
My daughter is almost two now and I want to foster the same love of reading and knowledge that my parent fostered in me.
I’ve done a lot of research on the subject and have read over and over again that one of the best indicators of a child future reading skills is how frequently their parents read to them.
This totally made my day. This is one area I totally excel in as a parent.
I read to Ella all the time.
Keep in mind, “read” is a loose term with her right now. Her idea of reading and mine are completely different.
However, I know that my little efforts will make a huge difference as she grows.
To start a love of reading in my baby I focus on the following:
- I sit with her in my lap 5-7 times a day and give her a board book to play with. I just let her play, no formal learning is involved.
- When she acts interested, I’ll point at easily recognizable objects in the book and say their name. I may point out color or make an animal noise. Red cars, clouds, dogs . . . the simple easy stuff.
- If she isn’t interested in being read too, I’ll let her go play. I don’t want to force her to “read” at such a young age.
- If she isn’t interested in sitting in my lap, I’ll often read aloud to her while she plays.
- I always try and read to her just prior to bedtime. I’ve found that it calms her down. It has gradually become a part of our nighttime routine.
I believe that now is the time to begin developing her love of reading. The earlier you start the better.
Never underestimate the impact continual reading has on your child.
A few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast about parenting. For the life of me, I can’t remember what podcast it was, so I can’t provide a reference or the exact statistic.
The speaker was talking about the role of fathers in reading. He quoted a study that had researched the correlation between reading comprehension and fathers who read to their children. I don’t remember the stats, but the reading comprehension level was significantly higher when the father read to the child.
They talked about how men use a different style of voice when reading to their children. Having the different tone teaches child different ways of sounding out words.
Having the Father read also reinforce to the child that reading is important.
It was so fascinating and if anyone can direct me to information on this subject I’d love to read it and redo this section of my post.
My husband regularly reads to Ella. I doubt I’m the only women who have walked in to find their husband reading or singing to their baby and started tearing up. There is nothing sexier than watching your spouse interact with a baby – sorry it is the truth.
I know that in the midst of our crazy hectic days reading to our kids is often the last thing on our list.
However, it needs to be one of the top things on our list. The benefits to our children are immeasurable.
It isn’t just our kids that benefit though. A few days ago I had a huge work project that was eating into a day I wasn’t scheduled to work.
Since I didn’t have a babysitter, I was frantically working whenever Ella was napping or distracted. I was really stressed. Halfway through the day, I realized I needed a break.
I really just wanted some quiet me time but felt guilty about working most of the day, so I decided to read to Ella instead. As I sat there and read to her, all my stress and frustration just disappeared.
I was able to concentrate on the moment with her.
It only lasted a few minutes, but those few minutes were just what I needed to recharge.
Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is rewarding, but so hard. I need those little moments to remind me why I’m sacrificing to stay at home with her.
Yes, reading helps my child learn and grow. But I’m selfish, I need the break as well and those little moments are going to be my calm moments in the midst of the storms that will come.
Just remind me of this post when she asks me to read 5 Little Monkey’s Jumping On The Bed for the 10th time. I probably won’t be feeling so calm then.
PS. What are some of your favorite kid’s books? I’d love to increase my library if you guys have any additional recommendations.
Here are a few of my current favorites:
- Goodnight Moon
- The Night You Were Born – I started to tear up the first time I read this one to Ella
- 5 Little Monkey’s Jumping On The Bed
- Baby Babble – These are my favorite type of books. They are indestructible, but more like regular books rather than the heavy board books. If you have a baby, I highly recommend them. They are cheap too!
PPS. My Mom is the best. After reading this post she recommended I read Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lifes Forever by Mem Fox.
I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but any book my Mom recommends is worth reading. In her book, Mem Fox recommended ways to keep children engaged while reading to them. She talks a lot about the importance of voice and tone to keep listeners interested.
The few paragraphs I read were great and I can’t wait to read the rest.
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