Only a glimpse of Christina’s family, provides a warm and gentle reminder of the value of a father. Christina and her husband actively parent two active, and ambitious teens, girls! These parents have an interest level that can only be appreciated by adult children, yet they hang on and hang in.
I’ve thought about their girls, and how fortunate they are to have two engaged parents. Especially a Dad, what a difference a Dad can make! It is always so heart-warming to hear of his dedication and persistence with their girls.
Christina ‘s second tip, she credits as the best piece advice she’d received from a friend. “Read with your kids every night, babies to elementary school-aged kids. Make it part of their bedtime routine, they love it and I believe they become better students.” Tip 2
I completely agree! Every word is true. The most common piece of advice in this book. I also feel it’s the best advice.
Michael did love reading time, and eventually independent reading. I do believe became a better student, and life learner because of it. Reading also brought stability, routine, tradition, and tenderness. Michael gained a thirst for knowledge, adventure, and creativity. He had admiration for good writing, and an appreciation of reading, and it made bedtime easier. All of that, for only 15 minutes a night.
The practice of reading was a non-negotiable commitment in our home. I believe our dedication to reading may have been the biggest contributing factor to raising a happy, well-adjusted, secure, and intelligent child (15 minutes/night).
Ironically, I hated reading and reading time. Now, in reflection, that time represents some of my fondest parenting memories. Our commitment to reading was a commitment to Michael’s future. This is such a strong piece of advice.
I started reading to Michael as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I remember going to the library and picking out books on all topics, English, math, science and French. Yes, I even read math books. I wanted him to have a sample of all subjects. I was not exceptionally strong in any subject, so I had no bias. J
The consistency bedtime reading was a pillar of togetherness. No matter what event was planned, Michael would have his reading time. He insisted on it!
Every night, without fail, reading time was before bedtime. Big Mike and I would secretly, at times painfully, banter about whose turn it was. When we were tired, and dared to attempt skipping a line or a page, Michael was on to us. We could never get away with forgoing, or shortening, this designated time.
Of course, as Michael got older he would eventually do his own reading. For a transitional period, he would read to us. Soon he was enjoying a solo reading journey, and the adventures of “chapter books.”
To add another layer to this wonderful tip, and it is gold, so grab your highlighter: When your child is looking to extend their bedtime, they feel they should stay up later – extend reading time, not TV/Computer time. I thought this was brilliant, even if I do say so myself. This gradually added an hour or more to Michael’s reading routine. What skill building!
I think, if a parent gets it wrong all-day-long, a great deal can be undone with a commitment to a daily reading routine, 15 minutes. To me, consistency is more important than duration.
As painful as reading may sometimes seem, I’m sure Christina would agree, the pay-off is immeasurable! Raising a reader is one of my proudest accomplishments!!
Thanks Christina, for your input, and for the memories!
Next week, Shauna on refocus and reconnect.