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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Too Busy (Not!) To Read With Your Kids

Let’s face it, we have to work hard (and use some creativity) to maintain strong relationships with our children.  Especially as they grow older.  What was “cool” last year might not maintain their interests this year.

And here’s our greatest challenge.  Time.  If you’re like me, you have plenty of ideas, but you’re weak on execution.  You have plenty of distractions.  Plenty of excuses.  Many of these excuses are even legitimate (like your day job!).

One answer to this dilemma?  Books.

Nick (my 10-year-old son) and I both love to read.  So I told him to pick out some books for me this summer.  His choice.

Now, before you give me the “I don’t have time” lecture, please save it.  You have time to read.  Really.  You can read when your kids are sleeping, when you can’t sleep, when the rest of your family is zoned out in front of the TV, or even in the bathroom.  Been there. Done that.  It’s doable. 

This summer, I started with Gregor the Overlander (one of Nick’s favorites) and was quite taken with Suzanne Collins so I wanted to see what The Hunger Games was all about.  (I loved it, by the way, but decided Nick can wait to read it until he’s a bit older.)

Then, following Nick’s lead, I read The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring.  Little did I know, I would become a J.R.R. Tolkien groupie (I’m waiting to read The Two Towers as soon as Nick finishes).

The good news?  Nick and I have uniquely bonded.  (So what if the rest of the family thinks we’re crazy when we talk about magic rings, hobbits, elves, and journeys to Mordor.) 

It’s about establishing a new connection.  Getting in their world.  Starting a dialogue. 

How do you nurture that connection with your growing children while a million other things are competing for your time and energy?

Have you tried reading lately?


Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

A post after my own heart, Susan!

Every once in a while, I text my boys with a question like, "Favorite book ever in high school." I love reading the responses. Then we talk about the books!

I found even when they were ten, we could read aloud, together, at night and that created a special bond. Great memories!

dhrknss said...

I credit my mom's reading to me with my ability to enjoy literature of all types. Likewise, my 7th grade English teacher read to us. I specifically remember Thurber's The Unicorn in the Garden. She encouraged me to write and I had my first poem published at that age.

Emily said...

Sometimes I think reading with my kids saves me. Sometimes when we get home, I am just too exhausted to play pretend princesses one more time, and, since both of my kids love books, it's a nice, relaxing way to spend time with them. It's pretty rare that I read to myself, however. I should do more. :)

Tessa said...

Great idea Susan! I have such fond memories of going to 'Waldenbooks' with my grandmother when I was little, picking out a bunch of books and going back to her house, each of us sitting in our reading chair, reading our books. :) Have you checked out Goodreads? I just joined (I know, not that I have time for ANOTHER social media...) but at least I can track my books and highlight those I want to read!

Stampin_melissa said...

I read with my 8 y/o son. He isn't an avid reader (yet) but he still loves to listen while I read, so I have him read me the first page of each chapter and I read the rest of the chapter. He gets to practice his reading skills and still gets to enjoy listening to the story. Plus we get to snuggle together just before bedtime. A win/win situation!