Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Reading on the run

I believe very much in the importance of reading to your children. I started doing it when Oliver was just a few weeks old and tried right from the beginning to make it part of our daily routine. Then it was easy.

Lately it's been very hard to continue with it because he won't sit still. I've given up at bed time because I find he's just too tired and gets whiny. Any other time he will sit for the first page or two but then is climbing off my lap and is on the run again. I've even given up story books and only read books that have one picture and one word per page thinking that may keep his attention a little longer. That didn't work either.

My latest attempt has been to read a story to him in the bathtub. We've been doing it for 3 nights now and although he doesn't seem to pay attention to what I'm saying, he can't get away from me and I know he hears me. I also like that he can't grab the book, he can't try and rip out the pages and I can actually go back to reading stories again.

I'm sure I'm not alone with these problems. I'd love to hear what other moms have done to keep reading to a busy little one. As always, thanks in advance for any advice I get.


Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

We have always read to Hunter as well, but around a year old he was the same as O. Just too distracted! He would sit still though for the books that have the sound buttons in them. It only lasted about two months, and ever since he has loved his books. Before Cavan was born we were reading about 30 books a day with him. We are probably half that now just because Captain Destructo gets in the way.

Just keep at it. Even if he walks away, just keep reading like he is there.... although my nephew at over 3 years of age has yet to sit though an entire book, but his parents don't try very hard either!

Keep buying books so he can have variety (and for your sanity too). We now have at least 300 books in our house, but we still have to hide books from Hunter because we get so sick of repeatedly reading them!!!

jen said...

What's working for me right now is starting to get Ezri ready for Bed earlier. We do the whole bath, book, bed jazz. I have the books that have soft and crinkly stuff on the pages so she can touch it. I also let her turn the page...so having a few books that Oli can trash might get him interested (want me to get you a few thrift store books?). Sometimes I'll try to read what's on the page, but she is turning it already, I just let her go at her own pace. I'm also sometimes reading instead before naps, then she isn't as cranky.

Cynthia said...

We too placed a great importance on reading in our hose and both of our children LOVE to read (Mikaela is way ahead of her reading level in kindergarden already because of it). Though my kids went through the same thing as O for a phase, but it passed quickily, they drink milk before bed at night so that was the perfect time to read to them, they always snuggled in to read while drinking their milk.

Keep trying, he'll come around!

Cynthia said...

I guess that sounded like reading was in the past tense, but they still at ages 4 and 5 snuggle up with me on the couch every night to read books. Mikaela reads one to us, then I read one or two more whatever we have time for. It is a punishment not to read books at night.

I like the comments posted about interactive books... ones with things that he can touch to help keep in interested.

Ann Harrison said...

Hello Everyone - this is really random but I haven't blogged before so forgive any etiquette mistakes. I come to your postings from the novel Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow which I am reading. In it there is talk of The Dorset Innuit Culture. I'd never heard of it before - so as I live in Dorset on the South Coast of England I thought I'd find out more and here you all are! Hello.
I see your weather is -18c which normally would have provoked shivers from us temperate Englanders but not this year -22C recorded in January and south of England snowbound for three weeks. I couldn't leave my house because we just aren't geared to snow at all. Current forecast is more to come this week. How do you live with such long periods of dark and cold? I fear I'd shrivel up - I am currently nurturing snowdrop shoots in my little garden as tentative signs that Spring might arrive. Do please tell me more about your lives in that other Dorset so far away, Thanks and apologies for the interruption to your postings.


Michelle B said...

We've always read with Ethan, too, and we are trying to keep it up with Finn. We do the bath, book, bed routine as well....but we found that starting the routine earlier made the kids less cranky by the end of it. Ethan won't go to bed without at least 2 books, but Finn is harder to keep in one spot. I usually do books with him through the day. Reading in the bath is a good idea....have you tried bath books? The kids love bath books - can't destroy them and it's ok to get them wet! They are more expensive, but a good investment....especially if you're planning on having more kids :)

Morena said...

Great suggestions ladies. I'll start the bedtime routine earlier and add the story back in. He does have his milk before bed but we usually do that in the dark while snuggling so maybe I'll try and change that around to make that story time.

I just ordered some more touch and feel books but couldn't find any bath books. I'll have to look for some next time I'm out. That's a great idea.

Ann... drop me a line at my personal email morenasteeves@gmail.com and I'd love to tell you all about Dorset. Hope to hear from you soon!

Kim said...

Hi Morena,
Our son Rider, is just a smidgen younger than yours. He has access to all of his books during the day. He uses some of them as "chew toys" but many others he sits and turns a few pages, points at the pics, then is up and running again. I haven't tried reading in the tub yet until I can buy some waterproof books. One effective method of sharing books is when he's just finished breakfast, lunch or dinner. He's already in the highchair, locked in, a "captive" audience, if you will. Rider tends to be very attentive on a full belly:)

Aida said...

i think its only now we've begun to enjoy reading books together with the kids. when they were O age, we just read short picture book. but now we can actually read Cat in the Hat cover to cover with them.

Tigger said...

My youngest is 21 months. He used to get 2 books before bed, and numerous others throughout the day (when he sat still!) Now, we loves to bring books, but won't sit and read them for more than a page or two. I have found that rhyming books are the most likely to keep his interest. We also read while he sits on the potty....
Keep at it, I am sure 'this too shall pass'!