Isabelle and I sparred with each other a few times before I dropped her off at preschool this morning. I was tired (I was at my computer writing until after 11 last night!) and she wasn’t listening. Neither of us were in the right. I figured things would be better when I picked her up from school.
Instead of completing her entering the house routine quickly (i.e., coat off, shoes off, washing hands), she took over five minutes to remove her coat and one shoe. It was agonizing. I raised my voice. She yelled back at me. This cannot continue, I thought.
“I have some picture books I want to share with you. Would you like to read them in the great room or your playroom?” I asked Isabelle once she finally finished washing her hands.
“The Gweat Woom,” she replied.
“Okay. I’ll get them and meet you in there.”
First we read I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld, which allowed me to remind her how much I love her even though we had been fighting today. Next we read Beach House by Deanna Caswell and Amy June Bates, which allowed us to talk about how much we cannot wait to go to Maine this summer. Afterwards, we read Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox and Stephanie Graegin, which allowed me to snuggle Isabelle close and plant some kisses on her cheek. Finally, we read Goose by Laura Wall — twice! — which allowed us to imagine what life would be like with a pet goose.
30 minutes after we started reading together, we were at peace with one another. Reading picture books is one of the best ways to fix a problem, isn’t it?
18 thoughts on “Reading Aloud: The Cure for Sparing with Your Child”
And it helps you with your writing! Reading with children is one of the best things. I’ve been trying to get back in the habit of reading with Cecily who is almost 13. She loves it.
Lynne Dorfman and I were talking on the phone this afternoon about a bunch of things. One of those was reading aloud to older kids when you’re working full-time. Lynne suggested reading poetry with them since you don’t always have time to read a full chapter with them. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
Reading aloud is very powerful. My mother had Alzheimer’s and she enjoyed when I would read aloud. I wish I had done that more. I am at two schools this year. I discovered one of my challenging classes really responds to scary stories. I just finish Joseph Bruchac’s – Skeleton Man.
Reading aloud is transformative. My kids are 7 and 9. Lately we’ve been reading a book about the history of the world I bought it on a whim but we look forward to finding out what happens next each night. So after the homework misery and the yelling about brushing teeth, we settle in. While I’m reading, one of my kids usually puts his or her hand on my arm or shoulder. It’s such a huge gesture when it happens. Some people can’t believe my kids want to learn more at the end of the day, but this is our passion…we love to read and to learn. Thanks for the glimpse into your life.
That’s lovely, Kimberly. You should slice about that. 🙂
Ahhh… I could feel the peace forming around you both!!!
So, “Keep Calm and Read Aloud” is the new motto. T-shirts? Yes please! Reading is calming for everyone and I will definitely remember this in those grrrrr moments with my girls. I’m happy to see that you are also showing Isabelle that reading is a calming activity too — good for kids to know as well! (And thanks for the book suggestions too!)
ALL four of them are gems. I think almost all of them are out in the stores.
And, yes, that could be a good motto!
And, don’t forget story telling. It is also transformative!
You’re so right. However, if puppets aren’t involved, she’ll rarely sit for a story.
Subliminal lessons also slide into the reading time. Messages in books remind us how to be a better person. I am a huge Amy Krouse Rosenthal fan, so I will be looking for that book.
Great idea to calm both of you. I love picture books, I used to do lessons with 5th graders and they loved them as well…lesson here we are never to old for picture books!
I agree, reading aloud is a ‘settling’ of the mind. It happens in my classroom too. Just before lunch everyone has a chance to take a deep breath from the busy morning, and just listen. Thanks for reminding us of the power of reading together, Stacey.
What a great way to change the mood and feelings. I wanted to just sit down and listen as well. My children are grown and I miss those days of reading with them. I don’t miss the crabby moods we all had but the reading yes! Thanks for sharing this moment.
Love, love, love this post. I especially want to read the Amy Krouse Rosenthal book.
My favorite line was the detail when you said “and one shoe”, that helped to paint the picture of just how much of an ordeal it was!
I always treasure the books you suggest. Unfailingly they become favorites. Thanks
This is something our world leaders should take into consideration. Right? Solve issues between us with the reading of a picture book. Let’s do it!!
Reading picture books not only calms children, I’ve found that when I’m stressed, picking up a few favorite picture books and falling into them can calm someone middle-aged too! But, they would be even better if they came with kisses on my cheek. 🙂