As annoying as these words are to hear at bedtime some nights when we’ve already read four books, I still love them deep down. I love that I’m raising a reader. I’ve been reading to my daughter since she was a newborn.
Don’t get ahead here and think I’m one of “those moms” that had reading all planned out, doesn’t let her get do screen time, etc.
I’d bet money my daughter gets more screen time than your kid.
No, I didn’t intend to be a reading mom. One of my great friends teaches elementary school. She told me a few weeks after having my daughter to start reading to her, even if it was just news articles. So, I started reading what I was scrolling through on my phone, while waiting for her to fall asleep.
I read out loud Wall Street Journal articles, Red Stick Mom posts, text messages, and whatever the heck I was doing at that moment on my phone. I started to feel a different kind of connection with her, even though she was only a few weeks old, when I would read these things to her and share my thoughts.
There’s a reason for this.
Reading is what Charles Duhigg calls a keystone habit in The Power of Habit. A keystone habit is a habit that is correlated with other good habits. Reading promotes so many great things that I’m sure you’ve already seen on a million billboards, posters, ads, etc.
So, I’m not going to bore you and duplicate said lists here.
I loved how much better I would get at the tongue twisters in Giraffes Can’t Dance. I loved how I would challenge myself to not cry during On the Night You Were Born. I loved how much better I would get at the voices of different characters. I loved how much she loved picking out a book every night.
My favorite thing about our reading is how our current book obsession has reflected our phases of life. I’ve already mentioned, I cried every night when I constantly read On the Night You Were Born to my daughter as a newborn. It just hits all of your postpartum hormones in the feels.
I read You’re Here for a Reason multiple times a day to her when I needed to be reminded that someone was depending on me to be strong. She enjoyed making all the different animal sounds for the gorgeous drawings in it.
We read Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You every night for months last year. I still believe it was God’s way of telling us He would be with us through whatever life was going to throw at us.
Now, we read the goofiest books that make close to no sense at all. We take turns making the noises to Moo Baa La La La and The Bellybutton Book. We just started frequenting Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.
We just hit 500 books in our “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program. I never set out to make this one of my traits as a mom. It just happened organically because we both enjoy it.
Don’t set out to read 30 minutes a day. Don’t make your kids sit down and pay attention when you read. Let them hear you mispronounce things and correct yourself. Let them hear you get better at the rhymes and tongue twisters the more you read a book.
Keep it simple. Just start reading.
By the way, this is our bedtime devotional. It’s great, except now I have to frequently explain to her that Jesus isn’t a bear.