Read by Example

If your child is in elementary school, chances are reading is part of their nightly homework. While my kids truly do enjoy reading, getting them to do it after a day of school and other homework isn’t easy, to put it mildly.

I can’t say I blame them really. After I write all day, the last thing I want to do is more writing at night! As much as I want to tell them I totally get where they’re coming from on the reading thing, adulting must happen which means I must encourage reading.

After realizing that telling them to read wasn’t really cutting it, I had an “a-ha” moment. You see, I always complain I don’t have time to read or that I’m too tired. One of my many resolutions this year is to try to read more. What better way than to do it with my kids? I get to read, they get to read, and there’s peace and quiet in the house, even if it’s just for ten minutes.

I wasn’t sure they were going to buy it at first, but I pitched it anyway.

“How about we all read for ten to fifteen minutes tonight together?”

Blank stares followed by, “What do you mean?”

“I mean we all pick a comfy spot, grab a book and just read…together…but by ourselves. You read your book, I read my book, but we’re all doing it at the same time.”

Silence.

“Okay, sure…and then we can tell each other what we read,” chimes in my oldest.

Praise Jesus! Maybe you are my kid after all!

“Yes, that sounds like a good idea,” I answer.

So, we read…together…but by ourselves for about 15 minutes. When we’re done, my kids actually do start talking about what they read. It’s working, it’s really working!

I follow the rules too and tell them about my book…which means no reading any “50 Shades” type of stuff with them.

The next day we didn’t have our reading time because we were doing other things. I know, I know, after only one day and I screw it up!

Before all hope is lost, my kids tell me at night, “Hey, we forgot to do our reading. Can we do it tomorrow?”

Amen and Alleluia! I didn’t screw it up…yet!

It’s always the little things that really turn into the big things when you’re a parent.

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