Why You Need to Show Your Kids That You Read Too
Updated: May 22, 2019
How important is it that your child sees you reading? Very important!
Books Are Visible
I grew up a reader in a family of readers. Books were always there for bedtime stories when I was a child. My dad was my go-to reader of books. The Pokey Little Puppy, Berenstein Bears, and Babar were my childhood friends.
Bedtime stories were so important that when my dad left on trips for work, he would record himself on cassette tape and I would take my books and tape player to grandma and grandpa's house. I never missed a story time. I still have the cassette even though I have no way of playing it anymore.
In my childhood home, there are walls lined with books in the living room, den, and bookshelves filled with books in every bedroom.
My Students Know I Read
I bring my current reading to my office with me everyday. There is always a book tucked into my purse to fill the lulls of waiting for the elevator, in line waiting for my food or beverage, and waiting for an client. My students see me reading and how engrossed I am when they walk into tutoring. And they are curious. Curious what I'm reading, what's it about, if I like it, and they suggest new books for me to read as well. They open my book, read the book blurb, tell me if their friends have read it... we engage over books!
They see that it's okay to be a bookworm and sooner or later, they stash a book in their backpack too. Eventually, I see that when they are waiting their turn for tutoring, they pull out their books instead of their phones.
Safe Space for Books
My long time students know that I gift books every Christmas. They put in their requests for the book they want as it nears the holidays. Recently, my student brought in his Christmas gift book when he finished reading it and handed it to me. "Here. Your turn," he told me. "It's good. I think you'll like it."
They know that when they stumble upon a great quote in their reading, they can put it in a quote bubble to display in the windows of the office doors.
Food for thought: We want our children to be these great voracious readers, but do they see us doing what we tell them to do? If they see us always on our phones, tablets, or immersed in the tv, why would they think to pick up a book in their down time? We are shocked when kids tell us they can't remember the last time they read for fun or finished a whole book. But when was the last time we did the same?
Let's normalize reading and books! I'm not encouraging no tv. I love to watch my cooking and travel shows too. But if we shift just one thing a week: one night a week where everyone reads before bed, one weekend morning to enjoy a book, or a family outing to the library once a month- would things change?
We all need a little help in becoming HI Achievers!
Happy reading :)