Monday, June 4, 2012

Reading = Connecting

Connecting with Auntie Becky

As I was looking through pictures the other day, I realized that whenever we have people visit, Beansprout almost immediately wants to read with them.  Anyone who is game for a story will soon find my little guy on their lap or leaning on their shoulder with a good book.  We often have to limit the number of books he hopes to have read to him, reminding him that our guests are visiting the whole family :)  It occurred to me when I saw this photo, that this is his way of making a connection with people.  He gets to show them what he knows (he has read all of these books a zillion times!) and he gets to be close to them without the pressure of being too close to people.  He's connecting.

He also wants to connect with Matt and me. There are days when life gets hectic - we may have a lot to do, or we may be pre-occupied with the stresses of the week; and on these days Beansprout doesn't get the attention he's used to.  As I reflect, I realize Beansprout is a pretty smart little guy; many times he just finds a book and asks for us to read to him.  We can't refuse, of course.  We sit down, open the book, and viola! - we're connected.  It's so simple and yet so powerful.  Just the act of slowing down our adult-world brains and focusing on the story helps bring us back to our usual attunement to him.  Some days it's easier than others, that's for sure.  Yet the realization that this is what is going on, that Beansprout is trying to make a connection with us, is empowering - to know that he's reaching out makes it even more important to me that we meet him halfway.

I've also found that this works both ways.  When Beansprout is acting out, or not really with the program, it is easy to get him back on track by sitting down and reading a book with him.  He's able to focus his attention and suddenly the moment is transformed.  A whiney or out-of-control three-year-old is back to himself.  The trick is to remember this in the moment, of course.

Do you have any reading connections you use with your children?  I have focused on reading with kids, but there are so many other ways to make connections with reading!  What tricks do you have?  Also, I'm writing about BOOKS all month!  If you haven't already, check out my other posts: For-Kids Magazines,  Wordless Picture Books, and We Love Books, and thanks for reading!

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