As parents, we often hear that it is important to read with our children every day, and I don’t think many of us would disagree with the researchers, pediatricians, and teachers who make this recommendation. But, as with many things in life, it is much easier to think something is a good idea than it is to actually put that good idea into place. I started to think about how tough it can be to find time for reading together as I read through Real Simple’s “Tips for Managing Back-to-School Stress,” (http://www.realsimple.com/health/mind-mood/stress/labor-of-love-back-to-...) and thought about all of the other things that parents need to focus on at this time of year. Carving out time each day for a shared reading routine sounds wonderful in the abstract, but it can be challenging to do, for many reasons. Often, it may be that the times when you are home with your kids and able to read together are also the times when you need to get other things done – make meals, clean the house, do laundry – and may overlap with the times of day when many kids are most likely to be bouncing off the walls and wanting to do anything but pick up a book. So what’s a parent to do? Here are some tips that may help you follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for reading together (https://littoolkit.aap.org/Pages/home.aspx) without you or your child ending up in tears.
Especially as the school year begins again, life is hectic for everyone. I hope these tips help you think about ways to make shared reading time feel like a reward and a break, rather than another thing that just needs to get done before bedtime. If you and your child are having fun together, you can’t go wrong.