There are so many things on our "To Do" list that there is a risk that reading could get bumped to the bottom of the priority pile. We need to make an effort to establish a special place in our daily routine and dedicate at least 15 minutes for reading aloud to our children. Here's the surprising bonus: Reading aloud is a fabulous stress reducer. Turn off the electronics. Cuddle up on the couch or in bed. Add a warm, cozy blanket. Then just read!
Last night I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by some of the many changes that are occurring in our family: A new job requiring an extra vehicle, children dealing with standardized testing that makes them fill in tiny little circles ad nauseum, and small living quarters for very active children. Sebastien, my 6-year-old, is very excited about this month's reading project. He happily retrieved his library book from his back pack and we settled into the comfy bed to read.
Sebastien read his book first. It was about Winnie then Pooh characters and the things they could do. Piglet felt left out because he was "too little." Pooh helped Piglet realize all the wonderful contributions he made as a friend. Piglet ended up feeling much better about himself. I think Sebastien enjoyed reading this book because he could relate to the character.
Next, it was my turn to read. Sebastien handed me a Dr. Seuss book. "Bartholomew and the Oobleck." I had actually never read this one and was surprised that Sebastien knew about this book. He even told me what it was about. His Kindergarten teacher had read this to the classroom last year. So we began to read. I even created voices for the characters and Sebastien smiled at my interpretations. We only got through half of the book and I have to say I can't wait to read the rest of it tonight. I found myself more relaxed and less stressed after reading.
Sebastien's Book Recommendation
Reading to your children just 15 minutes a day has long term benefits for your child and for you too! Just consider reading as one strategy for your stress management. Creating time for Books is a Worthwhile Habit. Happy Read Aloud Day!