Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Been There, Done That

Connecting our own experiences to the books that we are reading is what makes reading so enjoyable to so many adults.  I know personally, I'm not a big reader, but if I find a book that I can relate to (a book about a mom, a teacher, the way I grew up, etc.) then I can quickly finish the book and it makes it easier to relate to the characters if you know how/what they are feeling.  But how do we get to that point?  Children at a young age can relate to what they are reading - and they do all the time - we just need to LISTEN to them.  I sat down with my daughter and she had picked out these two books.  We read them together and at the end of each book, I asked her "Did you ever feel like those people before?"  I had some great responses - and not necessarily the ones I was thinking I would get.  For the book about going to bed - I was right on.  Her response was "Sometimes I don't want to go to bed, but you make me.  I get angry, but I just read my book instead of sleeping."  Yep, that's my daughter.  The other book was about a little girl and her grandparents.  In the book, the grandfather dies and it's about how the grandma and the little girl work together to remember him.  I thought this book would remind her of her Nana who passed away because we talk about her all the time.  Death and sadness isn't something we hide around here.  But intsead, her respons was, "Ya, I was like that grandpa one time.  Remember when I was in the hospital.  They gave me needles and stuck that thing up my nose and I didn't like it."  So at that moment, that was what she was thinking about and it was wonderful talking and listening to her instead of rushing through the book to get her into bed.

Get your child talking.  And listen to them when they speak.
  • Dont interupt them when they are telling you a story.  REALLY listen to what they are saying.
  • If they ask you "Why" or "How" a million times in the day, just ask it back.  "Well, how do YOU think that got there?"  or  "I think ____, what do you think?"
  • Talk about feelings/emotions.  Let your child know that there are different feelings/emotions and that they are ALL normal. 

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