Friday, March 13, 2015

Seven Easy Steps to Your Child's Book Addiction

So we now have a reader in the family. For the most part. I mean, of course, other than the Man and I.  The Little Man is still hesitant to put his new powers to use, but he's got them. I wish he'd gain a little more confidence so I could put him to work reading to Tiny, but patience, you know...patience...and a lot of sounding out words very, very slowly.

This was his first day of school picture.
That I took two weeks into the school year.

Anyway, while I'm waiting, I thought I would take the time to instruct all of you out of my now vast wealth of knowledge and wisdom so that you too can instill a love of reading in your child. So here you go.

How to Make a Book Addict Out of Your Previously Untainted Child in Seven Easy Steps

Start 'em early : There is no child too young for a book. Seriously, start reading to your kids while they're still in the womb (it can't hurt, right?). Whatever you're reading, read it to your kids. Unless you have awful taste in literature. Then don't. Save them from yourself. But really, you're sitting there holding your newborn baby, read them something. There are few things better than snuggling a baby while enjoying the written word. Except for sleep, maybe sleep. That might be better. But what would I know.

Start 'em often : There is no such thing as reading too much. A book at breakfast. A book at lunch. A book at dinner. A book at nap time and one at bed time. Forgo everything else, but just keep reading. A clean house is over rated. Anything more than a PBJ for lunch is extraneous. Showers are totally optional. Books are not. Read. Read. Read.

Model what you want to see
 : There is no such thing as reading too much. Wait, I already said that. But last time I meant reading to your kids. This time I just mean reading. As in to yourself. For entertainment or education or anything else you want. The more your kids see you reading, the more they will see it as something of value. And the more they will recognize just how much fun it is. And the more they will want to learn how to read on their own because obviously it must be incredibly entertaining.

Limit screen time : I know, I know, you hear it all the time. Turn off the TV. Close your computer. Put down your smart phone. But those are all really negative. How about this: open a book. The more time you spend on a screen with your kids, the less time you spend with a book. My parents (paragons of parenting virtue) didn't have a TV. They raised three voracious readers. This is proof to me that it works.

Build pillow forts : This may be my most important tip. Make pillow forts with your kids and read in them. Pillow forts are like crack for kids. Seriously. Anything done in a pillow fort is automatically the most awesome thing of all. File your taxes in a pillow fort. Your kids will never get arrested by the IRS. Cut your toenails in a pillow fort. Your kids will be perfectly pedicured for life. Fold your laundry in a pillow fort. Because if you have as many kids as I have, that's the only way you'll ever get the laundry folded. Pillow forts. Trust me on this.

Make the most of bedtime : Read before bed. Why? Because that's the time of day all kids put off as long as possible, and while they stall, you are molding their little malleable minds into reading machines. Those pleas of "One more chapter, Mommy?" will be music to your ears instead of driving you one step closer to insanity.

Hit Up the Library : Make the library the coolest place in town.  Don't pick the bookstore because either you'll go broke or the bookstore owners will have you arrested as a public nuisance. The library is your friend. Someone had a really good day potty training? Celebrate with the library. You're trying to make up for a morning stuck on the phone paying bills? Treat your kid to the library. You barely survived shots at the doctor? The library will make it all better.

And if all else fails, convince them that reading will get them out of eating their vegetables at dinner. You never know. It might work.


  1. So true. And the video of the twins is hilarious! If you've taught Alex the basics it won't be long til he'll be reading on his own. Remember Christmas break in kindergarten? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Yes, the moving babies at the end are great. It'll be so great when Alex has to start reading to everyone. :) Love your little bookworms.

  3. yes. Need to do this!! (I especially like the "clean house is overrated" part)

  4. I'm so impressed with the moving pictures of the twins and also with your new little reader. Way to go!

  5. Huge like and approve. And congrats on the first of your readers! So fun. Although a book called "It Is Fun to Read" seems like a waste of time when there are clearly Sandra Boynton books in your other pictures. Mandatory schoolbook?

  6. They need more math, physics and engineering books.