This week I’m sharing ideas from a new series called Resilient Parenting and giving you a preview from my new YouTube channel. I hope you’ll subscribe and be part of the conversation about resilience there.
With two sons reading three to seven levels above their grades, I’m often asked how I got them to like reading. It’s true, sometimes my kids can be found reading books, into the car or walking into walls at home. So, beyond reading to them as little ones, how did we do it? Here’s five tips to help.
1. Rotating Library: When they were very young, in play pens or in their rooms, we’d encourage room time, or individual play time. I had a shelf with four or five different books I changed every few days. Since they were in the room with a bit of music or encouraging words playing in the background, they learned to focus and got used to reading. Even if its only ten or twenty minutes, encourage that alone time.
2. Books on Tape: Before they began reading alone, I filled driving time with books on tape. The best one we’ve enjoyed was The Chronicles of Narnia, and your library has others to recommend. Hearing famous actors read it brings it to life and made carpooling to sports or drives more fun. The images danced before our eyes in new ways. It was thrilling and led to great conversations about bravery, integrity, and life’s challenges, too.
3. Daily Reading Time: The best suggestion would be a daily goal of reading time. My kids have developed the habit of going to sleep reading books, or if they need down time, grabbing a good novel. When they were learning to read, I’d buy the book and subscribed to an audio service that they could listen to over and over and follow along. Sounding it out and reading along worked wonders, too.
4. Write With Your Kids: I’m also writing books for tweens so my kids have grown up contributing ideas and giving feedback as the stories came to life. Actively participating in writing and editing has taught them to think creatively and take feedback better too.
5. Track Their Interests: As they’ve gotten older, our books have changed to keep up with their interests. Whether it’s Minecraft or other great fiction, I keep track of their interests and match it with our reading. I also go to libraries with sales rooms and buy used books for a quarter or fifty cents to restock our shelves. It’s great because they don’t have to worry about ruining the books and I don’t worry over them getting lost.
Hope these tips will ignite creativity and connection with your little ones. Every month we’ll feature a resilient parenting tip as part of this series. And subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tips to come. Thanks!