But the one area of the house that has escaped our purge is his bookshelf. My son is on the verge of reading by himself, so I want to wait until he is able to read through his books on his own before we get rid of any of them.
My husband and I own a lot of books. So it makes sense that my son does, too. We make a point of reading with him every day - and this is something that we've done since he was a baby. (Even when he couldn't understand what we were saying.) We didn't do this because we thought he would be able to read as a baby, we read to him because it seemed like a wonderful way to interact with him.
Turns out, we were on the right path. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently released a study indicating that in addition to stimulating brain activity and helping children develop their language skills, one-on-one reading strengthens the bond between parents and children. The study also points out that reading should start when children are infants.
I'm not surprised by those results. After so many years of reading with my son, it has become a special bonding time for us. Here's how you can help strengthen your bond with your child over books:
- Hit up your local library. Our shelves at home can't hold any more books. But at the library, he can pick out his own books.
- Snuggle up. I almost always read to him while he is sitting on my lap. He turns the pages and we sound out words together. It's a two-person process.
- Do the voices and make it fun for everyone. If you are stuck reading the same books over and over again, it'll make you crazy. Encourage your child to pick different books every time you read.
- Branch out. Boys don't have to read "boy books" and girls don't have to read "girl books." Switch it up.
- Use real books. Yes, he can read books through some apps on our devices, but there is still something wonderful to me about having him feel the pages and to know when to turn them.