Hey Y’all this is a guest post from my new Book Challenge partner, Paula Willis! She is an Usborne Book Seller and also acknowledges how important it is to read to our children.
How Reading Can Calm Our Children
A million things vie for our time and attention. Juggling the demands of work, keeping a home, paying the bills, school, even social media all beg for the best of us.
So, when the kids want us, even though our loved ones should get the best of us, it can be difficult to dig down to find ways to meet their needs. What if I told you, that on those days, when you are tapped out and feeling empty, all you need is a few minutes and a book?
Reading together for ten minutes can create a bond that can fill their love tanks, and yours. The other day was one of those days. Kids were crazy, all the plans I had for the day were not going right, the house was an overwhelming wreck, the dishwasher broke, the toddler tried to make coffee, there were constant interruptions. Are you getting the picture?
Carrying the cranky baby, I walked into the quietest room in the house, cleared a space on the floor and sat down to have a cry. The toddler came in and sat on my lap. I gave him a squeeze and grabbed the book that was sitting next to me on the floor. We started looking at the pictures together and for those few minutes, it felt as though all was right in the world. He got that physical affection and attention he needed and my mom heart did, too.
When to Read to Our Children
You and the kids are cuddled together on the couch reading a book and they are dripping on your every word. There are smiles, laughs, and kisses. Can’t you just feel all the warm fuzzies?
Yeah, that’s not my house. I have five kids spattered between 7 months and 10 years old. The first four are all boys. Reading in my house looks like kids upside down, jumping on the couch, smelling each other’s feet, and wrestling.
Meanwhile, the baby eats things off the floor that only she can see. The toddler inevitably lays a load in his diaper. As much as I had expected that beautiful vision that looks like a page in a book catalog, it’s not real life.
What reading DOES look like in my house is keeping their hands busy.
It varies from day to day. Some days I read while they eat. Usually, they color.
Lately, when the weather is nice, we meet outside and they swing in their hammocks or dig in the sand while I read aloud.
On those busy days, when I’m tapped out with little to give but craving that connection, they put on their pajamas and plunk pegs in the old Light Bright I picked up at the thriftstore.
It Doesn’t Matter How or What You Read
I’d like to encourage you to set aside ten minutes a day. Just ten minutes to read together with your kids.
It’s okay if they aren’t sitting pretty. If they’re standing on their heads, building legos, or drawing while you do it.
It can be a chapter book or a picture book.
The connections and memories you will build with your kids will last far beyond anything else you can do with those ten minutes.
In that brief time, together you will travel places, meet people, and experience things together that you might otherwise never do.
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