Parenting Tip Tuesday

Read, Baby, Read

One of the best skills you can teach your child to be successful in school is reading and that teaching begins even as early as infancy. Kids that score high in reading, usually score pretty well in other subject areas. Encouraging that love of the written word begins with the tiny ones and continues well into elementary years. Snuggling your six month old on your lap is a bonding time for both of you. Adding a board book to read gives you a shared experience and lets Baby be exposed to written and spoken language. As he is older, sharing a chapter book at bedtime can become part of a relaxing pre-bed routine. 

I encourage you to be open to adapting the way you incorporate reading into your daily routine. Often, parents who enjoyed putting their baby on their lap to read, get discouraged and even stop, as baby becomes a toddler. Toddlers need to toddle and may not have time for this sitting still stuff. That's ok. If you persevere, soon you will lure them back to your lap for cuddling and reading. In the meantime, read to them while they stand by your seat or get on the floor with a book. They may only look at the page for a few seconds. You may only capture their attention for 90 seconds. It is just fine if the book is not completed. As long as the experience is fun, you're fostering that love of reading.

As kids get older and learn to read independently, I encourage you to continue to keep spending time with him over books. Put away the iPad games, turn off the TV and read together. Share a book and take turns reading. When it's your turn, use lots of animation in your voice. When it's his turn, be excited to listen and keep corrections to a minimum. Maybe let her see you immersed in a good book. Ask questions about a book she is reading. Answer questions about a book you are reading. Go together to the library or book store for your next stack of books. 

Enjoy reading with your kids… Reading really is FUN!