When your children are little, it’s easy to set reading aside until they’re bigger. Sure, you pull them up in your lap for a snuggle and a story every now and then; but really, there are times when it would be easier to do something else. Bedtime has run late, and reading a story will just mean that it takes that much longer to get everyone in bed. You’re in the middle of something else, and you don’t want to set it to the side to read the same book for the fifth time in a row. You know that reading to your children is valuable, but really, how often are you supposed to do it?
What do you do when your child brings you a book? Do you snuggle them up in your lap, open it, and read it the best way you can, complete with sound effects and voices? Or do you sigh in exasperation, wish that your child would find something else to do for just a few more minutes, and get through the book as fast as you can? Do you encourage your child to fill in words that they know (rhyming words, or words that come with pictures, for little ones; memorized stories are also wonderful), or do you read it as quickly as possible? Do you interact with your child as you read together, asking questions and looking at the pictures together, or do you read only the words on the page with the same bored, “I’ve done this a hundred times” attitude that will rapidly translate to your child?
Are you really encouraging reading, or are you just getting by throughout the day?
Unfortunately, your attitude will affect your child drastically. The more disinterested you are in what you’re reading, the more disinterested your child will be. Choose a book that you will enjoy reading, snuggle up in a comfy chair, and take the time to read one book together—just one. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy it!