A very brief post from me, as I’ve been sitting here thinking of various things. It’s that time of night when the mind tends to wander and become more philosophical, not through wine but probably through the need to sleep!
Everyone talks about the importance of reading to and with your child. I totally agree with this of course – otherwise why would Holly and I commit ourselves to a blog that’s all about reading from a child’s and adult’s perspective? There are many reasons why reading together is important:
- it helps instil a love of reading in your child
- it helps them learn to read and write and talk about books and other subjects
- it exposes them to different ways of seeing things, of thinking and of experiencing different cultures and ways of life
- it gives them skills to access a wide world of opportunities
- perhaps most importantly (at least for me), it is a chance to spend some quality time with your child. Curled up on a sofa or on the bed, with a good book, it’s a time for parent and child to lose themselves in a story, away from the worries of the day, away from disagreements and fights and general busyness.
We don’t lead by example!
Reading this blog you would be forgiven for thinking that Holly and I have a harmonious reading experience. That perhaps we eagerly reach out for the same book and immerse ourselves in its pages.
This is rarely the case!
I don’t know if there are other parents out there that have experienced this, but Holly often seems determined not to read a book that I have suggested to her. I don’t know how long I tried to entice her with various childhood favourites, only for her to sniff in disdain and reach for something else instead. I soon found out that the more I tried to flag up the merits of a particular book, the more determined she would be to firmly leave it aside.
Soon, I started leaving books around the place, casually, and watch for her reaction. Sometimes they’d sit there for ages but often she would notice them, pick them up and start leafing through them. She’d ask me why they were there and I’d reply, nonchalantly, that I had left them by accident and would take them away. She’d insist on wanting to look at them and eventually we’d end up reading them together.
You may think I am devious for doing this, but many of Holly’s childhood favourites have been discovered in this way. These were all books that I knew, from her previous reading history, that she would like but was resisting due to her desire to be different from her mother. It’s a natural stage of stubbornness that has lasted quite a few years but at least I know that she’s not reading to please me, which is heartening.
Just don’t show her this post or she will know what I’m up to! I guess my cover’s blown.
- Does your child try to avoid the books you suggest for them?
- Do you avoid books your child suggests to you?! (I am guilty of the latter but only in the case of books that have a necklace or plastic animal attached to them, as it seems too much to me that they are offering a freebie to make up for a shortfall in the story.)
- Do you have any tactics for encouraging your child to read a particular book?