Should You Read To Your Child or Should Your Child Read To You?
It’s time for bed. You little one wants you to read them a story. You say “absolutely!” And then you tell them they can pick out the book that they want to read. Should you use this time as a learning moment or allow your child to relax and hear a story without too much effort? I’ll explain further if should you read to your child, or should your child read to you?
Bedtime reading is a perfect time for you and your child to have quiet time together as well as giving them an opportunity to learn about new things and places. It’s just you and them and no distractions. So when the bedtime comes and you and your child are ready to have a story time together, think back to the day your child has had and it can give you helpful hints as to how you should choose your approach to story time.
When Should You Read To Your Child?
If your child is having a hard time going to bed because they had an upsetting day or aren’t feeling well, either physically or emotionally, having you as the story’s voice would be a good option. It might be a good time to lead them to a fun but more relaxing story where they can wind themselves down and take good thoughts with them to bed. If their little minds have been working overtime all day and they’re a bit out of sorts, then sitting back and listening to a voice that offers them security and safety is a good way to settle them down to a good night’s sleep.
But if they have been a bit quiet all day, maybe have spent most of the day inside watching TV or on their electronic devices, then you might want to have them challenged a bit and get them involved in reading parts of the story with you. If there are multiple characters in the book, you can each take a part or parts and do a little playacting as well, changing voices and speech patterns to create an at-home play. Pick a book that is not too challenging for them, but not a book that they know by heart. You want them to learn a new word or two in the process and it helps to keep them engaged. But if the book is too hard and they have to struggle to get through it, then it won’t be any fun for them either and it will defeat the purpose of having books be something that they look forward to experiencing.
As you are reading to them, and they read to you, ask them about the characters. This helps with their recall and comprehension. Find out why they like the story so much and ask them if they have a favorite part. It is important for children to not only know the words but also what they mean and how they’re used to impart information. Point out small things while reading to them and ask questions to keep them searching for items that they may not notice at first.
When Should Your Child Read To You?
If they are doing really well reading to you, let them keep going! They are getting the hang of reading out loud and learning how words are pronounced. They often get very excited and proud of themselves if they can read a good portion without making a mistake and are able to get through each sentence with relative ease. After they take a breath…lol…and stop for a moment, you can then ask them about what they just read. Not point blank, or course, you don’t have to point and ask a direct question. But just tell them what a great job they did and bring up portions of the book and ask little questions about the things they just shared with you. Remember hearing a story and reading a story are two different experiences. Children need to master both to be able to learn properly.
But no matter which way you decide to conduct your nightly bedtime ritual with your child, reading a good book before bedtime helps to calm the mind and enhance sleep. Many times parents learn things they didn’t know about their children during story time and children often feel so comfortable with their parent while reading that they tell them things that they normally would keep to themselves. So use this time to not only help your child appreciate a good story and at the same time teach them valuable learning lessons that they will use and remember the rest of their lives.