Here are some quick ways you can find more time to read to your children
My absolute favorite way to spend unplugged time with my kids is to read aloud to them. I’ll confess, part of this is because I LOVE doing the silly voices. haha *Give me all the accents* ! One complaint I hear a lot is that parents can’t seem to find time to read aloud with their kids, especially as the kids get older, or as the number of siblings increases. (Tell me I’m not the only one that read 7,587 books with the first child and 100 with the second??!!) Anyhow, This has been true for me sometimes as well. I’ve found a couple of things that really work when it comes to sneaking in read-aloud time, and maybe they will help you too.
1. Read during meal times.
This includes snack time. It won’t work for every meal, of course, but think about it for a minute… your kids are
trapped I mean ‘strapped’ or sitting (hopefully lol) in their chairs! You have a captive audience, for the most part, right? This is a great technique when you have several kids of different ages, especially the teeny tiny ones.
2. Move bedtime up by 15 minutes.
Say you usually have the lights out by 8:00 pm. (I usually do by 7 pm and if you don’t do this or think its too early, let’s chat about this! Trust me its the best decision you’ll ever make. Ok, moving on) Everyone is rushing to get in bed by 8:00 and then by 8:30 everyone finally IS in bed (you know how it goes), and there is no time for reading. Instead, pretend bedtime is 7:45. Get the kids in PJs and teeth brushed by 7:45. That leaves time for “one more chapter.”
3. Carry a book everywhere. (yes really. Bonus points if its a paperback)
Make it a paperback, a suspenseful or funny chapter book. We all find ourselves in moments during the day when we need to keep the kids busy — waiting for big brother at school, picking up take-out, you name it. Pull out the book and divert their attention with a suspenseful tale or funny rhymes and jokes if your little doesn’t favor scary.
4. Swap television for books once (or more) times a week
Mama, I know all too well how easy it is to want to grab the remote and flick on the television. BUT, right in that moment…in exhaustion and ease- I want you to try something. Get up, go to a room where you’ll be alone (yes, the bathroom totally qualifies. No judgment here) Remind yourself of these three things:
- i love my children and my children adore me
- i have no idea who/what i am raising (will my precious baby be an astronaut, doctor, teacher?)
- their lives are worth more than the few temporary hours of “relief”…..so i’ll breathe & start again