How I get my kids to read

Max

Max

What’s one thing you feel good about as a parent? For me, one thing I’ve done right is that my kids love books.

(I remind myself of this after I lose it and yell. Right after the guilt sets in.)

Here are some ways I’ve gotten my boys interested in books.

  1. We read everyday. At bedtime and the oh so missed naptime.
  2. We visit the library a lot.
  3. We go to a lot of bookstores, including when we are on vacation.

Ok, so sometimes, it doesn’t work.

Here’s what I hear:

  1. I want to watch TV.
  2. I don’t want to go to the library.
  3. I want to watch TV.
  4. I want to watch TV.

So, I try some new things.

  1. I stop at the library on my way home from work. It seems like I brought home a present! When they ask, “Did you bring me anything, I can say, oh yes, I did!” I also pick them up from school with new library books in the car.
  2. I try to find books that appeal to their interests at the time be it dinosaurs, buses, bugs, or superheroes.
  3. I refer “our” books in conversation. This could be Fly Guy, The Big Toddlah, Harry the Dog, Frog and Toad, whatever is popular at our house at the moment.
  4. We buy books as gifts for other kids. (Along with a toy, don’t worry.)
  5. We’ve made our own books.
Calvin

Calvin

They know I read a lot and see my books.  They’re aware I have a blog and I try to get their ideas for it and say, “Hey, can we read this book? I might need it for my blog.” They love that.

For the most part all of this works. The other night, when they should have been sleeping, the three of us lay in my bed, each looking at our own book. They’ll ask me about what I’m reading. I also find books in their beds when it should be lights out.

This makes me happy.

But of course, sometimes they just want to watch TV.