This year my mom (shown above with Bruce 😊) decided that for our son’s first Christmas we would start the tradition I like to call, “The 12 books of Christmas.” 🎄
Now the way it works, or at least the way we’re doing it for our little man, is every night starting the night of December 13th he has unwrapped a new book to read in the spirit of Christmas. For those of you like me that thought, “we gee, this sounds like a mighty swell plan mom, but doesn’t the last day fall on Christmas Eve? Shouldn’t it be Christmas?”
To summarize what she told me without the whole you’re such a smart a** part,
You want to have it end on Christmas Eve because the next day is Christmas. That means they’ll be getting a lot better gifts that sing, dance, buzz, light up and whatever else they can make them do these days. Our kids will simply be way too distracted by the new Baby Yoda or Hatchimal toy they received from Santa to give a squat about sitting still to read.
Also don’t feel bad if you can’t find enough GOOD Christmas books to read them for twelve nights in a row. We decided on a mixture of books that we wanted to read him so that it’s still festive but educational as well. I’m sorry but I’m not about to read a Christmas story about a shark that doesn’t make sense and even has the nerve not to rhyme very well. 😑
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the huge amount of help you’d be giving your child by helping them learn to read as well as giving you both a great bonding experience. I learned will in Psychology while attending college at NPCC that a child’s brain develops faster in their early years than Paul Walker in Need for Speed. Even in the book I’m reading now “What To Expect The First Year” by Heidi Murkoff, it stated a one-year-old will have nearly 80% of their adult sized brains.
I have seen little kids as young as the age of 5 on television showing off the multiple languages, mathematics, musical skills and many other feats that I would only sit around wishing I could do. 😅 So reading to them in the first years is invaluable skill that’s not too hard to teach them. Even the busiest of parents should be able to find 15 minutes of time to unwrap a book and read it with their child. Just being there with them reading can:
- Show them what the letters look like as you sound them out
- Help with there concentration skills as they focus on your finger to follow along
- Learn that the correct way to read is from left to right (Until we get to things like Manga 🤓)
- Some books help them to identify everyday items that could help with communication skills
- It will help teach your child that learn is fun
- Teach them words that they wouldn’t usually hear to help build their vocabulary
- Books have amazing underlying messages that often help children with their moral outlook on life as well as understanding emotions later in life ( puberty 😰😭)
I’m sure there are many other reasons on why reading to your child is very beneficial, but I’ve been on the soap box long enough.
It can be very hard to get children to sit down and listen to you, or if you’re at the next stage read with you. Kids weren’t born with natural patience of the monks so you have to figure out ways to get them to enjoy reading and get excited about it too!
When I read to Bruce I make sure that he has played some first so that he has gotten out some of his energy and won’t go Super Saiyan when put in bed. I also make sure it’s somewhere comfortable so that I can sit or lay with him as we read, plenty of light so that he doesn’t start getting tired and cranky plus I make sure that there are as few distractions as possible so that he is focused.
Some pointers on reading to your children:
- Try to use different voices for the different characters, or at least a different voice than your usual one 😁
- Make sure to point at the words as you read so they can follow along and point out the pictures giving a quick explanation of what they’re seeing
- Act like you’re interested in the story as well saying things like “Wow” or “Oh cool look at that!” (Though with some of the books these days I’m sure most parents won’t need to act 😂)
- You can also try looking for books that have interactive features such as buttons for sounds or music, cool things they can touch or that have puppets for you to use as the story is told
The point of the holidays in my eyes, as in parenting in general, is that you’re supposed to be as selfless and to give more than receive. If you’re a parent reading this or know a parent that needs to try this out then I urge you to take action! I know I’m a bit late since it’s already the 17th of December but there’s still time to catch up and plenty going forward to enjoy.
I hope that this helps many parents now and in the future start the tradition of reading and really enjoying learning together. Thank you mom for sharing this idea with us!
The holiday season is one of the craziest time to be a parent just remember to slow down and really enjoy the family time. You deserve it 🥳