Page 35

2. DO THEY HAVE BUSY HANDS? Sometimes it is easier for active children to have a simple task to do while listening, such as eating breakfast, colouring or drawing. This may sound strange but it is only like us doodling during class or listening to the radio while washing the pots or driving the car. It is not necessarily distractive.

3. CONSIDER THE TIME. Sometimes you will need to give a little grace when it comes to reading aloud. Forcing a young child to sit as long as a older sibling is not practical. Let the youngest leave when they reach the end of their attention span. You may have to contend with a 'rough day' when your child is extra grouchy or wound-up. On days like that it is better to let it go. Reading together is meant to be enjoyable for all, sometimes it is best just to put the book down. It will still be there tomorrow.

4. BUT DO NOT GIVE UP. Reading aloud to your children will not look like the 'perfect family' you may see on social media adverts. I doubt if it will ever look like the kids are happily snuggled together on your sofa, listening intently to every word you read. Moreover, you will probably want to give up because the kids will not sit still or pay you any attention. But every day you choose to read aloud, in spite of it not being the picture perfect, is another day you have spent building your children’s lives through reading. With consistency, reading aloud with your family will become some of the favourite memories you and your children will cherish.

Profile for ElectricPress

Electric Press - literary insights magazine. May 2019 edition.