They say with age comes wisdom, but I think we just get a perspective on life that
you have a harder time seeing when you are younger. I have always loved to read and
write so you know I'm a big proponent of reading to your children. There are tons of articles on the importance of doing this for their development and language skills, but
the real reason is much deeper. There is not a more special moment with your
child or children than sitting or lying beside them and totally immersing yourselves
together in a book. Sometimes you will smell, visualize, and become the story you are reading. The bond that you will share during these times is irreplaceable.
The quiet times, the funny times, the times you laugh and the questions that books will inspire will be events with your children that benefit you as much as it benefits
them. There are, of course, other very important times that you will and can spend with your children, nieces, grandchildren, or just kids of friends. But the quality
time that comes from sharing a book, a story with or without pictures are some of the most special.
When my daughter and I would read before bedtime together, those moments were some of the most memorable and singularly important times we spent together. The questions and discussions that books can and should lead to with your children will amaze you. You had better be ready for some tough ones. That old saying, "Children say the darnest things!" will bear out during your reading sessions over and over again. So start early and often is my motto. You don't have to spend tons of money to read to your child. You can go to the library together and pick out some books to read. Be sure to include your own childhood favorites. I know I did. I saved our favorite ones that made it through the rigors of childhood for my daughter to read to her children someday.
Some of our favorites were Goodnight Moon, Charlotte's Web, Corduroy, The Polar Express, The Cat in the Hat & Oh, the Places You Will Go - basically anything by Dr. Suess. Others include
Rainbow Fish, Winnie the Pooh and Guess How Much I Love You.
You may not make your child become the most prolific reader in the world, but you can be sure that they will enjoy the time you spend together. They will learn along the way, but the most important lesson is that you are interested in spending time with them. If you can give your children anything, just give them some of your time. That gift will come back to you fourfold over the years.