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Does your dc see you sitting down and reading a book?

(33 Posts)
Bouviergirl Wed 06-Jul-11 22:00:46

Does your dc ever see you sitting down in a comfortable armchair reading a book (and for longer than 10 seconds)?

I want to bring dc up in a household where reading is valued and important, to help him develop a love of reading himself. So we read books, especially before bedtime, and we sing songs and rhymes, and we look at alphabet letters and point them out in the street, and so on...But, I'm very conscious that he never actually sees me or dh sitting down for any length of time and clearly enjoying a good book ourselves, although doing so would probably do more to help instill a love of reading in him than any other activity.

Mainly we can't because we're too busy and knackered looking after said dcs! I can't sit down for any length of time to do anything because eldest dc is 3 and never stops, and youngest is 6m.

I'm after any tips/thoughts/advice please. If you manage it with a 3yo or thereabouts, how do you do it in practical terms?


BuckBuckMcFate Wed 06-Jul-11 22:05:06

Can't one of you sit and read for 10 minutes and the other one watch the DC and make lots of 'No DC Mummy has got to a good bit on her book so we're not going to disturb her for a while' sort of comments?

Or one of you gets in the bath with a book and the other brings them to visit you for a minute? My DC have always thought it amazing that we read in the bath.

littleducks Wed 06-Jul-11 22:06:59

No, I dont think so...unless dh is taking them to give me a break before i go insane out somewhere fun and shepherds them out saying something like "Leave Mama to read her book"

I try to encourage reading by surrounding them with books, they love to read stuff from my bookcase, things like a human biology diagram book, an old, large dictionary with pictures of the world/planets in etc

PandaG Wed 06-Jul-11 22:07:05

yes they do, but my DC are now 11 and 9. I think I read around them when they were much smaller, in fact I am sure I read while bfing DD, and DS had his 20 mins telly time after lunch.

Am former English teacher, and am passionate about instilling a love of reading. Seems ot have worked, both DC are pretty voracious readers, and at least 3 of us can often be found curled up with a book.

Mousey84 Wed 06-Jul-11 22:13:33

Yes - I can get lost in a book for hours and DD (8) will cuddle up beside me with her own book, and has done for years.

Bouviergirl Wed 06-Jul-11 22:14:27

That's very interesting, thanks for your thoughts.

From what you say BuckBuck, it might be a bit ambitious just yet to try and sit down and plough through War and Peace, whilst they're this young - but maybe we can still grab a bit of reading time (10 mins?!) like you say and make sure then they see us reading.

And from what PandaG says, I shouldn't really be watching Balamory myself during TV time, and trying to guess what colour house it is today, but using that opportunity to catch up on the reading. Oops. blush

uninspired Wed 06-Jul-11 22:15:55

Yes, DH and I both read a lot as does DD (7). DS (12) never reads for pleasure which makes me feel really sad, but try as I might I have never been able to instil the joy of reading in him.

whydobirdssuddenlyappear Wed 06-Jul-11 22:16:00

Mine don't. I never get 5 minutes to read by myself when they're up, and I adore reading sad
Don't let it worry you though. 6yo DS is rarely without a book in his hand, and 3yo DD is going the same way, although she can't read the words yet smile

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 06-Jul-11 22:18:55

I always have books on my bedside table, DS comes and asks what page I am on, I sometimes get a Sunday lie in when I like to read and the DCs do come in the room and see me reading then. Also on holiday I read a lot more, and the DCs are up later so they see me reading then. I do read newspapers and magazines in front of them too, and we all use the Kindle. My DCs are 7 and 5 btw.

Bouviergirl Wed 06-Jul-11 22:18:58

So Mousey84, when your dc was 2/3, she curled up beside you with her own book? For hours??

Maybe my ds is just not the type then. He likes books, I wouldn't say he loves them. It's sports and activities he loves.

But I want to see if it's our habits/little behaviours every day which make a difference. I probably do encourage him more in activities (pretty active myself) rather than being more sedentary (ie reading).

PandaG Wed 06-Jul-11 22:22:16

noooo - do what works for you - but I'd much rather read than watch Archie the Inventor!

I agree, it is difficult to read large chunks with small children - maybe have a book of short stories on the go so when you have 15 minutes you can finish something, rather than not know wherer you are when you come back to soemthing longer cos you've had no time ot read for a month due to sleepless nights and illness!

I just love the fact the DC choose to read now, and are delighted with a pile of books for their birthdays. (am also reading my way through Morpurgo's back catalogue, DD loves the fact I am reading her books alongside her)

cory Wed 06-Jul-11 22:26:05

Mine do. Dd thinks it's a great nuisance since I am always nicking her books: she has taken to hiding them behind her bed.

Bouviergirl Wed 06-Jul-11 22:27:56

Many thanks.

I've got to sign off now and go to bed (v late where we are) so I'm not being rude if I don't reply. But your replies have given me some insights and food for thought.

Sadly not off to bed with a book (would wake up co-sleeping 6mo!) but will work on this one...

wigglesrock Wed 06-Jul-11 22:30:48

I have a 6 year old, 3 year old and 4 month old. Husband always takes them to buy me books for birthday, Mothers Day and if he's in Tescos with them, he looks at books - Mummy might like as a treat!

jugglingmug Wed 06-Jul-11 22:32:29

Yes, on weekend mornings I make a pot of tea and we have quiet time til about 8.30. I read the paper or a book, DS (5) reads the sports page of paper or a book, DDs (4 and 2) either look at books, colour or do cutting and gluing.

I also read on the loo, the only time I get to sit down in the week while they're awake grin

guitarstrummer Wed 06-Jul-11 22:40:57

I actually think the parenting role model in this sort of example is often completely overplayed. I never saw my parents read at all (they didn't grow up in the UK and aren't actually very literate or academic) yet I was a real bookworm as a child and spent all my time in the library. I would go by myself as a teenager, so it's not as if they encouraged me by taking me there either. Most of my interests as a child (and as an adult) are completely different from anything my parents would be interested in. I grew up watching my parents doing a lot of sewing and cooking yet they are definitely not my best skills!

If DS sees me reading at all, it's usually MN and other websites on my phone these days grin. I don't think he saw me do much reading when he was younger, but he's a very keen reader too.

piprabbit Wed 06-Jul-11 22:48:44

Yes - I always have at least one book on the go, usual by my bed. I'll sit and read whenever I get a chance.

I also think it is really useful to take a moment to choose a book or two for yourself when you go to the library with DCs. If you all choose books together it really reinforces that this is something you think it important and enjoyable (and grown-up).

Mousey84 Wed 06-Jul-11 23:00:40

At age 3/4 she would look at books for an hour or so when in the room with me - longer if she was in her room with no one to retell the story too (not reading words, just making up stories from picctures!). I started using books on cd around that time too. By 6 she would start and finish novels in one sitting, so 2-3 hours. Now she disappears for 4-6 hours to read after a visit to the library. In fact, I have barely seen her since 3pm when a friend dropped round a harry potter book. Shes still awake now, reading.

Her reading age is 4 years ahead of her age, and Id hazard a guess that it has a lot to do with her love of reading. Kids love to copy their parents, so if you love to read, encourage them to cuddle up on sofa with you to look at their books)

exoticfruits Wed 06-Jul-11 23:18:17

Yes I would but then I love reading so it is pretty impossible not to see me read. I also found it very useful when they were little and didn't want to do something like put on shoes, I would just say 'OK tell me when you are ready' and sit down with a book and totally ignore them! Worked a treat-they put on shoes.

seeker Wed 06-Jul-11 23:22:25

It's particularly important for boys to see the important men in their lives reading - it's easy for reading to be seen as a "girly" activity.

cat64 Wed 06-Jul-11 23:23:06

Message withdrawn

HuwEdwards Wed 06-Jul-11 23:24:00

Now they're older (8 and 10 yes) yes, because I have time, but when they were younger not at all, and I am an avid reader. And my DC are too.

exoticfruits Wed 06-Jul-11 23:28:48

All part part of the benign neglect-I don't think that 10 mins with a cup of tea and a book is going to be anything other than beneficial. I agree that it is important to see men reading.

Galena Thu 07-Jul-11 21:03:36

I only read her books to her during the day - she's a very demanding enquiring 2-year old and I never have a minute to myself at the moment. However, sometimes when she's come into our bed on a weekend morning I've been reading and she'll look at my book and I'll read a bit to her. She just loves the 'story voice'. She always brings me books to read and talk about though and we cuddle up on the sofa to do so.

notnowbernard Thu 07-Jul-11 21:06:46

Well, we've got bookshelves full of books

They see me reading books quite a bit, DP isn't much of a reader though

Am now at the stage where the 7yo reads the blurb and questions me about the content... recently found her looking through 'How To Be A Woman' in search of "swearing words" hmm

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