Anytime, anywhere, anyplace, read!

According to my mom I was reading at two years-old. Now that I’ve had three children, I’m not sure I believe her. But one thing I’m quite certain about is that I was holding a book in my hands most of the time. When I began reading them is up for debate!

I read to my first child all the time. To my second as well. To my third…not as much. It’s something I try to squeeze in, but don’t often succeed at. Just the word squeeze makes me flinch. Reading shouldn’t be squeezed in, it should be enjoyed, treasured.

There are a million reasons why I don’t read as much to my third child. [My older children take music lessons and we practice everyday. They are both athletic, my son is on a competitive swim team, my daughter is a gymnast. Um, I forgot about the daily homework, which in an immersion program is very heavy. And then there’s the daily household duties. So my poor little two-year old gets left to entertain himself much more than his sibling ever had to. This is not a bad thing, he’s much more independent in some ways (in others not at all!), and he’s become very good at getting into things he’s not supposed to.]

But there will always be reasons.

Fostering a love of literature in my children is very important to me. I think it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. I’m a writer after all, it’s my greatest passion. But the kids don’t see my process, and they are too young to understand it. All they see is mommy on the computer.

The other day I heard myself thinking, well, it’s okay that I don’t read to my toddler so often, he’ll either like books or he won’t.

Yesterday when it was just me and my eldest in the car he said: “I love reading. I love books. I have to read everyday. I can’t fall asleep if I don’t read.”

“Me too,” I said.

“Even when my eyes are so tired I can’t see properly, I’ll read,” he said.

“Me too,” I said, and laughed. I know that feeling so well, of struggling to keep my eyes open just to turn the page, and then another, and another.

“You fell asleep next to me every night for five years watching me read,” I continued. (yes it took that long before he was able to put himself to sleep. First child–what can I say?)

And that’s when it struck me. Sure, my two-year old may naturally gravitate towards books, but it’s my job as his mom to show him how important they are. How they are an integral part of our daily lives. We learn by example, and this is one example I don’t want to bypass.

If bedtime comes upon us too quickly, I’ll read after school, before diner, after diner. It doesn’t matter when a book is read. So long as it’s read.

 

How about you:

Do/did you read to your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or any other little ones in your life?

And how important is reading to you? Is it something you do daily, or sporadically?

(*image taken from children’s colouring website: http://coloringtown.com/children-coloring-pages/)

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14 thoughts on “Anytime, anywhere, anyplace, read!

  1. You mum might be right about you, but ‘reading’ might have to be in inverted commas, as you spoke aloud the words she had read to you, in the same tone too. I heard my son doing the same thing which always made me smile. And he read properly long before school, as apparently did I. Love of reading is inherited, which is beautiful.
    When I didn’t have time to read to my children (which was often) I would combine bath time with telling a story. Sometimes sitting on the edge of the bath, trying to remember how the tale went last time, as they asked for the same one again.
    There is always a way to get a story into the day, even if it means you make them up.

  2. I love to read, and I do it every single day. I read to my kids as well, and am trying to encourage out eldest. She just doesn’t like to read though. I’m afraid of forcing the subject and making her hate it more, so I’m backing off for now and reading to her too. She enjoys stories, just doesn’t want to read them herself… Have ordered some books and am hoping that they might pique her interest enough to kick start her. Fingers crossed!! My youngest two love books and often walk around with them. Eldest prefers to use them to make houses for toys… haha

    • Hi JC! How old is your eldest now? 6?
      It was only when my son turned 8 last year that he began reading more on his own. Prior, It was work, he was lazy, stories for him where meant to be enjoyed, not worked at. when reading become second nature he began to read on his own. He still comes to cuddle with the younger ones for a story, even a board book! Lol

      • She’s 7.5yrs old. She CAN read, she just doesn’t enjoy it. It’s so hard for me to back off on this one, but if I know her, and I do, pressure from me is only make it worse. I need to come from the angle of reading things that will get her interested enough to want to read them herself. I really hope that one day soon her switch flicks over to ‘likes reading’.

      • It’s hard when we want something so bad for our kids & we have to step away. Good luck!
        I know with my oldest I had to introduce a variety of books to learn his taste–his are just so different from mine when I was a kid! What got him for a while was non-fiction, now he’s into graphic novels (age appropriate of course! Hehe )
        I hope you find something she enjoys!

  3. I like what you wrote that they have to see how important reading is to you and there is a good chance they will assume that value. My grandchildren see me reading all the time. They see all the books around my house. They sometimes come to me while I am reading and say, “read it to me.” They cannot read yet but they can’t seem to wait to know what the printed page says.

  4. Awww, Jenn, I don’t have kids myself but I love reading about yours. The way you write about them is so endearing and heartwarming.
    I sometimes read to my cat. He absolutely loves books. He often uses them as a bed/pillow. Does that count?

    • lol. at least he doesn’t eat them! I had a cat once that used to nibble on the corners of my books while I read!

      No kids if your life, Nisha? Friends or cousins with little ones?
      I imagine you’re an avid reader! I see you always with a book. Am I wrong?

  5. I prefer furry children to be honest… 😀

    And no you’re not wrong, you should see my bedroom. My bed itself looks like it coughed up a small library. I tend to read a lot of reference/non-fiction/textbooks, so I’m always looking up a particular article here and there. When it comes to novels however, I take forever to finish them. I have a wandering mind…especially if I see a potential idea for myself in the story. LOL.

    • I can’t get non-fiction down. I seem to collect them–so many interesting topics–but never actually read them past the first chapter, if the binding even gets cracked! I hope to get more efficient in that way!
      Fiction on the other hand, I read about a minimum of a book week, give or take depending on the novel. I began the Historian btw, really enjoying it! 🙂

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