Importance of Letting Little Kids Read Big Books
We have lots of reference books, encyclopedias, science & history books, etc., in our home. One day a 2 year old picks one up and starts “reading” to us. This moment is a 50/50 opportunity. We can completely stunt or feed her reading abilities, forever, in one moment. Since I am both her mom and teacher, I certainly didn’t want to make things more difficult for myself, so I do consider from that perspective. But, mainly, I don’t want to discourage or hinder her development or curiosity in any way.
So, what do you do when a 2 year old picks up an encyclopedia?
Do you say “oh, honey, you’re too little to read that…”
Or do you say “you’re such a smart girl and you read so well!”
We prefer the latter.
Later on that 2- year-old started reading on her own by age 4, without difficulty. Now she’s grown up to be an avid reader who is fluent in language and reads well above her age/grade level.
One day another little girl, some years later, at age 3 picked up the Bible and told me that she was going to read to me about Jesus. Really she just flipped through the pages. Somehow Scooby Doo got in there with Daniel and David, but hey, some preachers have given worse interpretations, and at least she’s learning. When she was done she was so excited that she went on to read to Daddy, and he got a completely different story, but that’s ok.
One thing she’s learning is that no book is ‘too big’ for her to read, no word too long, and nothing is too big to conquer. Eventually she will pick up the words as we get into her education further. Right now she’s gaining confidence in reading, before she can even sound out a word. How awesome is that?
We only own books our kids are allowed to read at some point in their lives – the same with movies or anything other media. That doesn’t mean everything in our house is G-rated, because Lord of the Rings just isn’t. We own few movies that we do have some restrictions on such as – you can watch this when you’re a little older – but never a ‘you can’t watch or read this’.
Our big rule has been “never anything negative” with teaching the kids. Now, we certainly don’t go around flattering unworthy accomplishments. Instead, we strive to encourage our children to grow and reach above – higher and higher, with everything they decide to do. We want to them to know that they can truly do anything they want, even a toddler can read a great big book.
Have an awesome day & God bless,
I am the youngest of 4 kids – an afterthought you might say, all my siblings are much older than me and they’re all close in age. Not the best of thoughts growing up – but I now know that God is the one who makes plans. Anyway, in my upbringing, being so small, but with big ears and everyone else being older – I got to listen and observe – and learn – a lot.
Naturally I always wanted to please my parents, so I had the perfect opportunity to learn what to do and what not to do from all the things I saw and heard about my older siblings, and even all my parents younger siblings.
I gained quite an education through the simple process of observation and I really did try to be a good child. I remember feeling a bit of shock to my system when I was suddenly in trouble for doing something wrong – (I’m not saying always – I certainly wasn’t perfect), but the times I remember the most were vivid points where I truly didn’t realize that I had done anything wrong and I was in trouble. I have thought of this often when raising our children and has shaped my parenting.
There are several occasions where we see the child doing something they shouldn’t and what we do is simply stop them and explain – on their comprehension level – that what they are doing is wrong and they shouldn’t do it. Most often they never do it again – unless they “forget”, but we know that if they intentionally do it again then it’s being done with a defiant motive and that’s needs dealt with differently.
After being a parent for over 20 years now, I can truthfully say that each child has different needs and intentions when doing the same thing as another child, which can be sometimes daunting to a parent until they’ve had a few children, though not always.
The neat thing about this too, is that God is so awesome that he provides all of the opportunities and needs for each child, at every given moment of their childhood. What a thought!
As parents we need to be able to discern whether a child is doing something wrong intentionally or simply doesn’t know any better – there’s a big difference and going the wrong way can be very hurtful to the child.
And just what does a parent need to do to tap into this awesome power? It’s pretty simple really. Just trust in Him. That’s it – no crazy formula, chant, instructions, or recipes. Just trust in Him.
That’s the big secret for being the best parent you can be for your child and supplying their every need is God-led parenting.
Have an awesome day & God Bless you!