And why you shouldn’t worry what reading band they are on…….
We’ve all had the feeling; it’s the end of another manic day, working, rushing around, taxi-ing children to various places, feeding them bathing them and you just want to get them to bed as quickly as possible but they utter those words “just one more story…” and we sigh and skip through it as quickly as possible. We’ve all been there and it’s a natural part of being a parent.
But if we worked to more often change our mind-set around story time then it could turn into a really positive thing not just for our kids but for us as parents!
How often have you read a story with your kids and laughed out loud together, been delighted by how they respond or what you realise they know, or discover a long lost favourite from your childhood and enjoyed that warm feeling of nostalgia? If we take time to prioritise story time together relax into it and allow ourselves to enjoy it, it gives a sense of connection between you and your child that is often hard to achieve at other times of the day.
Evidence shows that children who feel more connected with her parents have less behaviour issues, better mental health as they grow older and do better at school and in life. So can 15 minutes daily reading with your child really achieve this? Because it’s about much more than just learning words, its about time together, exploring stories, characters, feelings and situations…and experiencing this together by reading is a very intimate situation which strengthens connection and these personal connections are so critical for close family bonds that can weather the challenges that life throws at you.
And reading with your child is so much more than about them achieving the highest reading band. It’s actually much better for them to enjoy the magic of a story than having to feel pressured to read words of a book that don’t inspire them!
So imagine a young child who loves being read to; who loves experiencing a story and engages in characters, pictures, journeys and narratives through a good book….they are much more likely to want to learn to read the words themselves when they are ready.
There is too much pressure on children to move through reading bands as soon as they can and parents want their children to be reading independently as soon as possible. But actually if this results in disengaging them in books and stories altogether, then better to read to them for longer and they will read themselves when they are ready…because they will want to because they will have a love of stories!
Everyone loves a children’s story
How many amazing children’s stories are there in the world? Books that as adults we remember fondly from our own childhood? Or ones that we read with the children that we delight in, are amazed by the creativity or even teach us new things or make us consider new ways of thinking. There is so much that we, as parents, can get from children’s books in terms of joy and pleasure. And the simple act of taking time out daily to sit down, lose ourselves in a story with our child and connect with them is something that we cannot get back.
So however busy our lives as parents are, having a story time ritual with our kids from an early age and through to when they go to high school is a priceless experience and one that we cannot get back.
In a world where mental health issues are more prominent than ever, personal connection time is down inside families and kids are growing up way too quickly then reading together is critical for the kids, the parents and the world around us…….
What are your favourite stories to enjoy together?
If you want a free children’s audio book then go here and download ‘Wonderslide World; the Stage is Set’ a magical 1 hour audio story with accompanying music track
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