This is a story about a bookworm, her son and a pile of children’s books…
I have been reading to my boy since he was a little baby. Some say this is useless since a baby doesn’t understand you anyway. You’d better wait until at least your child’s first birthday, they advise. I don’t agree. Babies may not understand the whole thing, but they can feel – your voice, your mood, the warmth, everything. Besides, if you love books, why not share it with your kids? It’s not about making them learn, although this is the inevitable result. It’s about the joy of being together.
I couldn’t be sure whether my baby boy enjoyed the colourful books I was reading to him or he was simply comfortable being hugged, but he could stay like this for a very long time. Now, I have an infant who is still interested in books, and this time, I wonder whether he really wants to listen to a tale or rather manipulates me (“I’ll make mum put aside all her work and be engaged with me only, again”). Because he knows perfectly well that I can’t say “no” to that. 🙂
Let it be so. I’m ready to read whenever he asks me unless it’s an obvious act of manipulation. I’ve done it even in early mornings before we go to the nursery. So how could he possibly feel about books? Well, a child’s mind is not an easy field to explore. However, let me give it a try:
- “I’m nestled in mummy’s arms while listening to her soothing voice. I feel so warm and happy.”
- “So many animals in the magical forest! Hey! Did you spot the squirrel hiding over there? Or I’ve just imagined it?”
- “Santa is talking to the elves. Oh, and I can see him fly over the roofs! Sshh, it’s a secret, only mummy and I have seen this.”
- “Thomas and Spencer are racing. Go, Thomas! Mum also likes this book, it can’t be otherwise. Engines are so much fun!”
All right, it’s a rough interpretation of his reactions. In any case, I can see him either curious or excited and it’s such a reward for me as both mother and ardent reader. Aren’t book lovers always eager to show the rest of the world that books are treasures? Not to mention the relief to know that technologies haven’t beaten yet. And they never will, if you ask me.
Nevertheless, I must admit the truth. These days we parents should try extra hard to keep our children’s interest alive. I’ve been fond of books since I can remember, but it was all different when I was a kid. How to convince my four-year-old that a paper book about Thomas and Friends is better than a YouTube video? It doesn’t make any sounds, and its images stay static all the time. The only way I know is by making it a mutually pleasant experience. I read to him because I enjoy it as much as he does. He, on the other hand, keeps listening because he feels I’m also enthusiastic about the story. Playing or reading, children are so glad to have all your attention. But let’s not overdo it. I never force my son and I stop the moment I see him getting distracted. He can now go to his Lego train; we’ll read some more tomorrow.
One last thing, books are to be treated gently and children should be taught about that. It’s so painful to come across a damaged book, isn’t it? OK, let’s not make it a long blog post. And don’t forget the bedtime story tonight.
Happy reading! 🙂