Reading With My Child:

6 Simple Ways to Make It Better

Reading with your child should be fun for both of you. The more you enjoy it, the more your child will, and this pleasure will give you both much more. So, what to do?

1.   Choose wisely. Find a story that both your child and you will enjoy, maybe one that you loved when you were little. Also, it doesn't necessarily have to be a story. Depending on how old your child is, he or she might already have interests that you read about together, such as particular animals, special places that your child enjoys visiting, etc.

2.  Make it cuddly.

Cuddles are part of feeling good, and feeling good is part of the fun. Your child can sit on your lap as you read, or right alongside you.  What’s better than cuddling with Mom?

3.  Choose a quiet time and place where there are no distractions.

This can be just before going to sleep, or any other time when you both can focus on enjoying the story and each other’s company. It’s lovely for your little one to have a special time when he or she can have you all of you. Speaking about distractions, don’t forget to shut off the TV and all other electronic media.

4.  Remember that you’re reading with your child, not to your child.

You want your child to be participating and engaged, so it’s fine if he studies the pictures even if it slows down the reading. Even stop your reading to let her ask questions and make comments. In fact, this is what you want. It’s great for kids to express themselves, to share their ideas and reactions with you, to be encouraged to guess at what could happen next, and to give their opinions about the characters and the action. You can even ask some questions that your child can answer as you go along.

5.  Read for only as long as your child stays interested and engaged.

Young children have short attention spans. Be guided by your child about how long to continue reading. When he or she is getting fidgety, stop until next time. Your child’s attention span will increase over time, especially after learning how much fun reading together is.

6.  Act it out to make it more interesting and fun for both of you.

As you read, change voices for each character, make faces, make gestures. This is your chance to be a great actress! The more you get into it, the more you child will love it.

Make reading together feel good, and when you see the pleasure your child gets from it, you’ll enjoy it even more. Your child will love books and reading for evermore.