You have heard it over and over! Reading to your kids is probably the best thing you can do for your children! It increases vocabulary, comprehension, ease of reading, and ultimately the love of reading! We are told to read 20-30 minutes a day to our kids, many say right before bed. This helps wind down your children so they can drift to sleep easier.
Here is the deal! I have spent many, many years reading to my boys before bed. There are streaks of greatness where I don’t miss a night……..and then there are those dry periods where I royally fail. I end up feeling like I am letting my child down by not provided a rich, learning environment!
THIS IS WHY I DECIDED TO STOP READING TO MY CHILDREN AT NIGHT!
This one decision has made a lot of difference in our family! Lets face it! Nights are hard! You are exhausted as a mom, and your patience is paper thin. There are nights that I am holding tight to any strength I have left in me to stay calm. If your household is anything like ours, it is a busy time!! It is also precious time spent with DAD! This is cherished time my boys LOVE to wrestle with their dad! There were days that I would get a little upset when my boys chose wrestling over reading a book together! I mean come on BOYS!!l HA HA HA
Why did this upset me………..???? Simply because it was on the last of my to do list for the day!
I quickly realized that my boys wrestling with their dad was a lot more important then sitting and reading a book. I didn’t want to force my kids to read with me and I want my boys to love to read. Because of this I decided to change the time when we read! It has made my nights so much more enjoyable knowing that the 30 minutes of reading is already done, and my boys can go straight to bed.
Here are a couple of ideas to help you break up the routine of reading at night!
#1 Read to your kids for 30 minutes after breakfast!
This is what is working for my family right now! Before we start our crazy day, we sit down and read for 30 minutes! Every time I say, “Alright, get our book, let me read to you!”, my oldest whispers, “YES!” They get me at my prime, when I am refreshed and ready to go!
#2 – Read to your kids WHILE they are eating breakfast
I know there are times when you are on a time clock, or your kids are going to school. My mother growing up always did this. She would read scriptures to us while we ate our breakfast before we headed out the door to school!
#3 – Have quiet time right after lunch where you read to your kids.
Families with young kids this is the perfect time to read to your kids when you put your little ones down for a nap. I believe this recharges your kids too.
#4 – Read stories to your kids right when they wake up!
When my kids were little, they always would come to our room and snuggle with us for our early morning snuggles. This is a perfect time to pull out a book out of your bedside table and read to your kids!
#5 – Listen to books on tape when you travel.
When we travel, my boys love to listen to books on tape or CD or audio books! 🙂 Modern technology is AMAZING! There are so many resources out there that can make this happen, from itunes, audible, cds, the list goes on and on! This can get a little pricey but oh so worth it.
I have seen that when our family takes the time to slow down and enjoy a good book, it calms our boys down in all other aspects of our lives. When I let them run, wild and free, with little structure, they act wild and free all of the time. When I bring books into their lives, and a quiet time of day, this somehow calms them down. Just remember, you don’t have to read to your kids before bed, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to spend time reading to your kids during the different hours of the day!