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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Reading to your Babies

Friday, December 28, 2007

Reading to your Babies

I don't know about you, but I see it, read it, and hear it everywhere. "Read to your children!" Yes, I get it. It is not always as easy as they would like you to believe. We are supposed to read to our children from the day they are born, but at some point they don't want to sit still anymore. Then what? Do I tie him down and make him sit through a book? Do I think that will encourage him to love to read? I don't think so!

I will admit... though I had high aspirations, I didn't read to my baby everyday from the moment of his birth onward. I kept thinking that I should be, but I didn't. As he got a little bit older, you know, somewhere between 4 and 6 months, and I did start too, he only wanted to chew on the books. I couldn't read or turn pages because he was pulling them into his mouth, so still it wasn't everyday. A month or two more and he was squirming to get away from me when we would sit to read. Another month or two passed by and he could turn the pages himself... before I was ready. Reading to your babies isn't as easy as we would all like, but it is such a special time.

In these past couple months I have seen my super active boy learn to love books. Many times he will choose a book over a toy and bring it over to me. Still he often wants to turn the pages before I am ready. Sometimes I let him, but most of the time I tell him it isn't time yet and finish the page (we aren't talking novels here... the pages aren't that long). Sometimes we will just look through it at his pace and other times we will read and point at pictures. He never lets me read one of the books. I decided it isn't important. It is a book of shapes, so instead of reading the story, we trace the shapes and talk about them.

The thing is... I don't think we need to take the "read to your baby everyday" thing as seriously as they make it sound. It is important that we are reading to our children, but don't make it something that makes them hate reading. Make it a fun time. Go with the flow a little. I work on the discipline of sitting still with him during reading time, but I pick and chose my battles. :)
You will notice in my side bar (at the top for now... we'll see where it ends up over time) that I have started a list of some of my favorites. Feel free to click for more information. I'm not making any money by telling you about them... I just wanted to share. I hope that as my list of favorites grows, so will my sidebar. :)

The book I am highlighting today is God Must Really Love Opposites. It was a birthday present from friends of ours and it is one of my favorites! The bright cheerful pages and fun rhythm are accented by the hand motions and vocal inflections I add to it. He really enjoys reading this book. I love that he is learning about opposites and about God. Try it out... and let me know what you think! I am hoping to get a couple more from the series soon... I'll let you know how it goes! :)

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At December 28, 2007 at 10:33 PM , Blogger Patty said...

when we force anything it often becomes more chore than joy. We read to our girls when they were babies, but if we were out doing something at bedtime, we sure didn't stop and read. As they grew into toddlers, and then on until they were preteens we still read as a family, but again, there were times when it didn't suit to read for a number of reasons, there were times we skipped reading for a day or so.
I think if you love books, you love to read, you set a wonderful example for your children, no matter how often you read to your baby

At December 29, 2007 at 12:36 PM , Blogger Nikki said...

I agree with Patty. I think the most important thing you can do is let your children see you read. When they know that you enjoy it, they will give it a try, too.


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