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Reading to your baby/toddler ?!?

  1. #1
    OX Jess is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Tuen Mun, Hong Kong

    Reading to your baby/toddler ?!?

    Just want to know if your child(ren) are like mine when you try to read to/with them?!

    My son is nearly one, I am not at all expecting him to sit well and be attentive to a book and be a 'reader'. I know it is far too early to require him to 'read' / to sit still to listen to a story, as I understand the attention span of a one-year-old could be as short as two minutes.

    I read to him since the first day of his birth. As soon as he turned 6 months when he was able to sits and grab things with his hands, he always grabbed away the books (let alone put them straight to his mouth for a taste!!!!) These behaviour are all fine by me.

    But recently I find something 'strange': he loves playing with books by himself, i.e. open & close them, look at the pictures, touch & feel some features or noise button, etc., but once I sit next to him and "try" to read to/with him, he immediately dumps the book he's been playing with and crawls away. Sometimes he even starts to cry just because I try to read to him!! It's happened more than a dozen times in a month and I am getting a bit puzzled! I tried reading to/with him at various times of the time, e.g. before going to bed, first thing in the morning, after he was fed, after he has a good nap and obviously in a good mood. But still, everytime I try it, he struggles and crawl away, which gives a strong sign of not wanting to be read!! ! But when left alone, however, he loves playing with and looking at his books.

    As I don't want to force him to do anything he doesn't enjoy, so I have, reluctantly, stopped trying to read to/with him recently. Sometimes I just sit there and read it myself, hopefully it will catch his attention and lure him near me. However, at the back of my mind, I still want to develop a hahit of reading every day, even if it's for 5 minutes, as reading is a BIG part of my life.

    I am not worrying about anything at all, as I am in no hurry to make him a reader as I don't expect my baby to properly read before 2 or 3. But I just want to know if your baby react more or less the same way as my son's? Is he a bit strange?! I am just a bit intrigued by his reaction...

  2. #2
    Aava.Wong is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    if i point pictures on the book and "sing" (coz he crawls away if i plainly read it!) the words to him then he will pay attention for a good 5 mins but after that, he just wants to play with it.

    my nieces and nephews got the hang of the bedtime story-telling when they were about 2 years old so i'm going to wait till then.

  3. #3
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point
    My 18 month old isn't very much into "sit and listen" while we read books. She's much to independent and prefers a more interactive approach. Her favourite books are books with tons of pictures, very bright... and she loves looking at the pictures and pointing out the things that she can recognise. She'll sometimes want to look at one page for 5-10 min, then she'll only want a couple of seconds on another page. I still do try to read to her a bit - but I also "play books" with her (mostly with books with cardboard pages that she won't wreck!!) by letting her turn the pages and pointing and asking her "What's this??" and letting her answer, or asking "Where's the butterfly?" and watching her search for it. I also describe the pictures while I'm doing this, like "Where's the crocodile? That's right - he's swimming in the water!!" or "The butterfly is flying over the flower" etc. I figure I might not really be reading to her, but I'm still teaching her a love of books, and she's learning new words all the time, she's learning the relationship between things - over and under, near, as well as various verbs as well. And she can "read" like that for half an hour easily. When I just sit her down and make her listen and look at the pictures, she'll only last maybe 5 min... I still do that as well - but I know that it's not really what her level of understanding is at the moment - she'll grow into it...

  4. #4
    OX Jess is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
    Hahaha... it seems that my son is not that strange.... I guess I may need to continue to read to the air for another 6 months!

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    jess, as you know i see literally, hundreds of kids every week. your son is perfectly normal.

    if he's happy enough playing at reading, leave him be. don't "force" yourself on him. eventually he'll want to know what it says and come looking for you.

    for 1-2yrs you need books that are:

    durable (board books are great)
    tactile (something to touch etc)
    full of pictures (even if there are no words at all!)
    interesting to look at
    if there are words, then SHORT sentences! not a lot of writing...

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