Challenge Yourself to Read WITH Your Children Not Just TO Them — TWINS Magazine
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Challenge Yourself to Read WITH Your Children Not Just TO Them

by Tina von Hatten

Why take the time to read with your children?

The main reason to read with your children is that it can strengthen your relationship with them. You will form stronger bonds with them that will last for a very long time, trust me. 

You don’t even have to be reading to them, though this can be wonderful as well as it brings you even closer together by experiencing the same story, that you are able to discuss afterward as well. 

However, reading with your children can do almost as much good as reading to them can.  

You can be in the same room as your children while they are reading their own books and you can read your own book at the same time. 

Even just being present while reading can be very beneficial for your relationship with your children, and their relationship with you and even with each other! 

This might sound rather far-fetched. 

How exactly can it be that a bunch of people, though sitting in the same room, while practically ignoring each other’s very existence caught deep within a good book traveling through space and time, will strengthen relationships?

You can read more about the reasons why reading is so important here: 20 Reasons Reading is Essential

The answer is very simple

The answer to this question is not complicated at all. It is simply quality time

The idea can be easily compared to the event of everyone coming together to watch a family movie. 

During the movie, you might hear the odd remark or conversation going on as this always seems to happen, it is inevitable, but for the most part, it is just everyone being together in the same room – quietly enjoying one another’s presence. 

The quality time is enough. You don’t need to be chattering the whole time, you don’t need to be running here and there looking for entertainment from outsiders that will likely cost money. 

Everyone is just contented with sitting around in the same room enjoying a relaxing time and appreciating one another’s company.

Another thing to consider

There are many benefits to reap when you read with your children. 

The first as mentioned above is that it can strengthen relationships through quality time. That seems like a pretty good benefit to me, but it’s not the only one. 

The second benefit of reading with your children is that they are more likely to read if they see you are reading too. 

Parents are the number one role model for their children. You will often see certain character traits and habits in children that can be directly found in one or both of their parents. 

If you are a person that reads quite frequently, your children are more likely to become frequent readers too.

Another thing to mention

Another advantage that comes when you read with your children is that it forces everyone to slow down. 

Life nowadays is so fast-paced that it can sometimes be hard to just put away the devices, and enjoy some time sitting down and doing a quiet and calm activity. 

Reading takes time and sometimes even hard work, depending on the ability of the reader. It is a good exercise in teaching kids to slow down and do something that is not already done for them. 

They have to work for their entertainment, but it will be so gratifying when they succeed. 

It is good to teach children the importance of slowing down and taking time to relax and enjoy life, so they don’t get burned out later on. 

Teach them to take the time to sit down and just read for a while.

What about toddlers and smaller children?

Now, I am not delusional. I am aware that toddlers and smaller children exist. I live with more than one of them. They are small bundles of joy and can be so much fun to be around.

But I am aware that doing certain activities with them can be difficult. A lovely peaceful afternoon with everyone sitting around on couches and wing-backed chairs, cuddled in blankets, huddling around a fire, and reading books can be a mere dream with toddlers and smaller children in the house. 

It may be a good idea to wait until nap time to attempt anything like that.

But, if you want to get the smaller children involved, then find the books that they would want to look at to make them feel like they are a welcomed member of the party. 

This can be the key to success. Keeping them busy is important so if they aren’t interested in looking at books, perhaps a different activity for them would be a better option like coloring or playing with toys to keep them occupied. 

If you want to get them used to the activity of reading together, then just keep doing it regularly, and eventually, it will just be the norm. It won’t be a big deal at all.

Amazing books kids love!

In conclusion

Among the many benefits you get when you read with your children, the most important one is that it will build better bonds between you and your children, and between your children as siblings too. 

Quality time and slowing down are very important factors for strengthening relationships, and reading together offers both of those. 

It might be loud and messy at first, but eventually, when reading time becomes a habit, it will be so much more enjoyable and satisfactory. 

Try it and you’ll see for yourself! Read with your children and discover the many benefits.

If you are interested in other ways to keep kids reading click here: 6 Effective Ways to Keep Kids Reading the Whole Year Round.

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Sheila March 16, 2020 - 8:00 am

I would like to ask for your recommendations about books for boys in grades 8 and 10. Thank you for your blog.

Tina March 16, 2020 - 10:19 am

What do your boys like? My boys each have very different tastes. Let me know what they are interested in and I will help you come up with a list. You can email me if you’d like through the little envelope in the top right corner.


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