Archives for February 2013

Attitude Influences

Source: parent4success.com

Do you have a child whose attitude changes on a daily or weekly basis? Have you considered the various influences in her life that might change the way she interacts with the people around her?

Attitude problems run the gamut with our little ones. We may see a surge of backtalk, forgetfulness with “please and thank you,” and general disrespect toward parents and other adults.

It can sometimes take a little while before we recognize attitude issues, not to mention figuring out where they come from. If you model the attitude you want from your child, it’s important to look outside yourself to see where it might be coming from. Most kids don’t come by it naturally.

There’s an article on Motherlode, the parenting blog on The New York Times, that discusses the effect of TV on our kids. Here’s a quote:

“My children talk back more after they overdose on Disney programming that finds its humor in the ‘children are smarter than their parents’ trope. They’re bossier and less pleasant to one another if we watch movies where characters interact that way – which can range from ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Toy Story.’”

The point is that your child’s attitude can very much be influenced by the TV he watches. So as you consider the influences that might be affecting his attitude, consider TV. And as you evaluate the TV you allow your child to watch, consider more than just violence and foul language. Watch the show and determine for yourself how the people in the show treat each other. If it’s a show whose characters act as though it’s cool to ignore or disrespect parents, steer clear.

Aside from TV, think about the people your child interacts with. If he has a friend who just rubs you the wrong way, there’s probably a reason why. While we want to give our kids some independence when it comes to forming friendships, they are still little and subject to our rules. If we don’t want them spending time with a particular person, it is our prerogative to limit their interaction.

Also think about the adults in your child’s life. We all have one of those irreverent friends who likes to buck the system. It may even be a family member who refuses to watch his or her language in front of the kids. Or worse, he will tell the child that it’s okay to disobey mom or dad.

Be on the lookout for these influences in your child’s life. When you see attitude problems pop up, figure out where they came from, and don’t be shy about putting a stop to them.

Shifting Responsibility

Source: parents.com

Are you doing all you can to encourage your children to take responsibility? When they are little, we do everything for them, whether it’s making meals or bathing them. But as our kids get older, we need to shift that responsibility over to them. The types of responsibilities I’m thinking of are:

  • Feeding a pet every day
  • Walking the dog
  • Doing homework without being asked
  • Practicing piano (or any other instrument)
  • Any chores you expect of him

This shift happens very gradually, typically with one responsibility at a time. It can sometimes be quite tricky to manage this shift in responsibility ownership. We don’t want to overload our kids with so much responsibility that they don’t handle it well. Nor do we want to give them the idea that they are allowed to be independent in all things.

It’s all about balance. We want to require them to take on responsibility for certain tasks in the home. But at the same time, we don’t want an independent, wise in their own eyes attitude.

Which of these best characterizes your child?

1)    He asks you to do everything from putting his toys away to tying his shoes (well beyond the age when he can do it himself).

2)    He refuses your help in most things, claiming he can do it himself.

The problem with the first is that he’s not being required to do enough. The problem with the second is that he’s allowed to be too independent which often comes with attitude problems. When a child is too independent, he will convince himself that you don’t have the power to tell him what to do.

If you have a child who seems to have a little too much responsibility – and a wise in his own eyes attitude – start limiting his freedoms. Give him just the right amount of responsibility and start having him ask permission for almost everything he does.

Consider the funnel when deciding what responsibilities you can allow your child. The funnel tells us to keep our kids’ freedoms age appropriate. But more than age, we should consider whether they will act responsibly with the freedoms we give.

Having our kids take on responsibilities also requires a certain amount of attention on our part. If we have the child feed the cat, we need to make sure he does so consistently without us having to nag. If you find yourself nagging, then the child isn’t handling the responsibility well. Think about making a chart that lists the child’s responsibilities. Don’t make it a reward chart, but more of a daily checklist.

With my oldest, I’m thinking about moving him to a calendar system. I need to determine whether he’s old enough for it, but I want him to manage his own responsibilities. If he has a calendar, he can schedule piano practice at a time that suits him (and the rest of the family), his home therapy session three times a week, any schoolwork that isn’t directed by me, and more.

Kids are always in a hurry to grow up. So feel free to give them responsibility and a way to manage their responsibilities, but also keep an eye on whether the child is in the funnel and not acting too independent for his own good.

Prevention: Lay a Foundation

Source: alivecu.coop

Earlier this week, I talked about the benefits of outdoor play and cultivating the imagination in our children. Both of these ideas speak to the heart of what it so important in training our children: laying a foundation. By laying a foundation for our kids and our parenting, we do more to prevent problems with our children than to deal with them after they occur.

A few weeks ago, I asked you all what you wanted to read more about. Many of you said you wanted to learn more about consequences. I feel like I’m shirking my duty in giving you what you need. But I also feel like you’ll have more success as a parent if you lay the right foundation. It’s better to do your work ahead of time and set your child up for success than it is to discipline a child after the fact.

I certainly relate, though. When I first got my hands on On Becoming Childwise, I skipped ahead to the chapters on discipline. I felt like I needed a fix and I needed it now! I felt like if I could just get my hands on the right discipline method (timeouts, logical consequences, etc.) I would have my answer. That was so short-sighted of me. If there is anything I’ve learned in my 8.5 years of parenting, it’s that there is no quick fix in parenting.

This idea is even a primary focus in my e-book. Before I get into the specifics of training our children in first-time obedience, we need to set the stage. We need to do all we can to avoid child-centered parenting (couch time), give them independent play, schedule their days, make sure they eat healthy meals and get quality sleep, and more.

This applies to everything we hope to accomplish with our children. It goes beyond behavior. So whether you’re hoping to improve table manners or wanting them to get ahead in school, it’s all about laying that foundation. We need to set an example and create an environment that allows them to succeed.

An example of this is giving our boys outside time. While our greatest desire for our child may be creating a piano prodigy, we need to recognize our kids’ needs and give them the things they will need to succeed. It’s only by giving them outside time that we can expect them to sit still at the piano for any length of time. It’s only be cultivating their imagination that we can inspire creativity. It’s only by scheduling their day that we make sure we have time for it all.

This idea of laying a foundation forms the basis of my parenting. I believe in it so much that it affects everything I do with my kids. If we’re having issues with my boys not listening, I won’t immediately blame them or come up with a discipline plan. I will think through whatever it is that I’m doing wrong in laying a foundation. Whenever we have struggles, rather than blame my kids or lecture them on it, I’ll reevaluate our schedule and find a renewed commitment to follow it. (Following a schedule is one of my weaknesses.)

The other wonderful benefit of laying a foundation is that it’s all under our control. We cannot physically control our kids, but we can use our authority to follow a schedule, make sure they are in bed on time, take them outside, do couch time, and more. Probably the biggest detriment in laying our foundation is believing that it’s important.

Look at it this way. Our society has gotten a little carried away with the idea that popping a pill will cure whatever ails us. Popping a pill is so much easier than changing our diets or exercising. But we all know deep down that diet and exercise are the only true ways to improving our health. The same holds true with our children. Perfecting your timeout routine or finding a new logical consequence is akin to popping a pill. Laying that foundation and setting the stage for success for our children — the equivalent of diet and exercise — ensures a healthy home and children who will live the lives we want most for them.

Cultivate the Imagination

William in character

William in character

How imaginative are your kids? It’s only natural that our kids express themselves through imaginative play, especially beginning around age 3. On Monday, I talked about the benefit of taking our kids outdoors for some play in nature. The same holds true for imaginative play.

Imaginative play is so good for our kids. When they act out their little scenarios, with a toy or simply in their minds, they are expressing a true, developmentally appropriate form of creativity. I discussed the many important benefits of imaginative play about a year ago, and my philosophy remains the same. Given that there are only 24 hours in the day, I would much prefer that my boys have more time for imaginative play than learning their multiplication tables. There is a place for both, but I believe that imaginative play does more for our kids’ ability to create and learn than rote memorization does.

We are not the family that does flashcards for fun. If you came to my house, you’d be much more likely to find my boys raiding their costume bin or setting up a Lego battle than sitting at a table doing school work. The interesting thing about it is that my kids are smart (if I do say so myself). William is a year ahead of grade level in math and reads several grade levels ahead. Lucas is in pre-K and is reading. He will listen to a story, and without skipping a beat, will be able to narrate it back to me (tell me what happened in the story).

As is the case with outdoor time, if we give them the freedom for imaginative play, they’ll be that much better off when it comes to academics. Yes, imaginative play takes time away from school work, but if we did nothing but school work, I doubt we’d be any farther ahead. I believe my boys do well academically because we spend time outdoors and play imaginatively, not despite it.

Go Outside!

My boys playing in the sand

My boys playing in the sand

How much time do you spend outdoors? Do you make it a point to take your kids outside daily? Do you realize the benefits of a little fresh air and activity? I’m writing this from my favorite spot at Starbucks after walking here from my house. The minute we set foot outside the house, my mood changed instantly.

It’s too easy to get wrapped up in our indoor lifestyles, especially this time of year. When it’s raining or snowing outside, all we want to do is curl up in front of a fire with a good book. Even if we do get out, it’s from one indoor activity to another (piano lessons, gymnastics, grocery store, etc.). Our kids may be getting exercise through their sporty activities, but how much play time do they spend outside?

More than that, how much time are they given the freedom to truly explore our outdoor world? An indoor basketball practice pales in comparison to running through the forest, catching butterflies, handling bugs, finding that perfect stick, and soaking up some sunshine. Our natural world has so much to offer our kids.

This is true especially with boys. If you have a hyperactive boy on your hands, what do you do? Say he wont sit still during a meal, he tilts his chair back at school, or won’t sit still long enough to do his homework or listen to a story. Should you be more strict in your insistence that he sit still? Should you threaten to take away the toys that seem to distract him? Should you take away his prized park outing?

The first thing you should do to deal with a hyperactive child is to go outside! Set the homework aside. Piano practice can wait a bit. The amazing thing is if you give him that outdoor time, he’ll be able to focus so much more on the important work he needs to do. You could stay inside and slave away, with both of you getting frustrated. Or you could spend 15 minutes outside and get the work done in half the time it would have required if you didn’t go outside.

Having two boys has been such a growth experience for me. I’m a girly girl at heart. I do my hair and shave my legs every day (even in winter). When they were toddlers, I could tell that my boys needed outdoor time. I’m sure if I had girls, we’d be inside doing crafts all day, especially on our misty Seattle days. But my boys? They need to run around outside. We simply cannot let rain stop us.

I came across an article on the Growing Kids site that talks about ADHD and outdoor play. In it, the author talks about the “natural cure” of ADHD. She references a book that discusses the lack of time we spend outside, or the “nature-deficit disorder”:

Rickard Louv wrote Last Child In the Woods, which has the most interesting subtitle, Saving Our Kids from Nature-Deficit Disorder. In it, he shares recent studies that have been done concerning the effect of natural surroundings on kids with ADHD. These studies indicate that kids with ADHD tend to calm down and function better in a natural setting.

The article’s author talks about her days outside with her son who may have been diagnosed with ADHD if he had gone to a traditional school:

Lesson one: a large, open field and a butterfly net. I remember sitting on a towel and watching my son burrow through the tall grass in pursuit of the yellow “flutter-bys,” as he called them, experiencing the wonder of capturing them a putting them in a peanut butter jar for observation! We most often let them go, but “school” had happened in that meadow — and at least some of the “wiggles” had been released so that he was more ready to sit for a while and do traditional school when we got home.

I’m learning more about the value of outdoor play through my Charlotte Mason readings. (Charlotte Mason was an educator who has inspired a homeschool philosophy.) No CM homeschool is complete without nature study. We are to take our kids outside and let them experience nature, and we should do so for an hour or more every day. When we get home, the kids are to create a drawing or painting of whatever it was that caught their eye outside. This is beneficial even if you’re not a homeschooler.

Whenever you find yourself at your wit’s end with your kids, put on their coats and shoes and walk out the front door. The mere task of coats and shoes may seem insurmountable, but once you get out, you can relax a bit, and everyone will be happier when you come back in.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Source: northtexaskids.com

Yes, you read that right. Typically, this phrase is preceded by the word “don’t” but I think in parenting, it’s perfectly fine and good to sweat the small stuff. As parents, our job is to train our children, in all things, big and small.

You probably know what I’m talking about, too. There are little habits that don’t spell doom for the rest of the child’s life, but they simply drive us crazy. They look something like this:

• Your child uses a ton of soap but still doesn’t manage to get his hands fully clean.

• He holds his fork horribly wrong.

• He fails to wipe his feet on the mat when walking through the door.

• She takes her shoes off the instant you get in the car.

• He turns his nose up at anything green on his plate.

• She forgets to flush the toilet.

• He eats with his mouth open and makes a ton of noise while eating.

• Every time he eats, he ends up with food all over his face.

• She doesn’t do a thorough job with anything (showering, sweeping, homework, picking up toys).

None of these examples will ruin a child. Yes, she will eventually flush the toilet every time she goes. Yes, he will eventually eat his vegetables. But the issue is whether these things drive you crazy and whether they’re important to you. If good manners are important to you, then by all means, teach him to hold his fork correctly and chew quietly. If you hate putting your child’s shoes on (again) every time you arrive somewhere, then train her to keep them on. If you want to teach your child that excellence lies in the details, then work with her to learn how to do every job carefully and thoroughly.

The next time something your child does nags at you, rather than letting it go, stop and decide whether it is something you want to train your child in. Decide whether it’s important to you, and if so, come up with a plan. It’s beyond the scope of this post to explain HOW to train a child in these things. The point is just that, as a parent, you have the power to train your child. Your job is to pass on your values. If something is important to you — even the small stuff — then make sure you are instilling that value in your child.

 

Daddy Is Not a Babysitter

Source: theberry.com

By Hank Osborne, DaddyLife.net

I often hear dads say things like, “I have to babysit tonight.” Sometimes mom may even ask dad to babysit the kids while she goes out to a meeting or simply has a night away with friends. I get the concept in theory, but the general definition and the undertones that come with putting with words “dad” and “babysit” in the same sentence just don’t seem right.

First let’s start with the generally accepted definition of the word “babysit.” You can use your favorite search engine to verify, but in general the term babysit means to care for kids during the absence of the parents. Therefore that means that the person performing the duty is not a parent of the children being cared for. And based on a note from Merriam-Webster the term has only been around for about 60 years.

The reason I take issue with the term babysit to refer to the time that dads spend alone with their kids is that, in my opinion, this degrades and diminishes dad’s authority as an equal parent. I know that all dads are not as equally involved in parenting. Some dads are mostly uninvolved. I know guys who have multiple kids and they can count the number of diapers they have changed in their life on their fingers. Some of them even take pride in this, but I hope that is not the case in your home. Some dads may not be affected by being called a babysitter and may even use the term freely as very active dads. However others, like me, may take offense to it. So yes, it is a pet peeve for me. It may also be a pet peeve for the dad in you house. If you are a mom reading this, please check to make sure this term does not bother your husband if you are characterized by using it.

If you are a dad reading this, then you need to make sure you function more like a parent than a sitter. A good gauge of this is to observe how your kids act when you are home alone with them, as opposed to when you and your wife are both at home during the same time of the day. For instance, if your kids turn into different people as soon as mom leaves the house, then you are probably seen as more of a sitter than a fully engaged parent. You need to know enough about your kids’ routine to be able to take over and run things solo at a moment’s notice.

Even though there are a number of circumstances that can put you in a position as the primary care giver unexpectedly, I recommend that you do it on purpose once in a while. I’ve talked about it before when I reminded you that Dads Are Parents Too. This is Valentine’s Day and it is a good time to give mom a little note that says, “ONE FREE NIGHT (or weekend) OUT WITHOUT THE KIDS. Redeem at any time.” The note will go nice with those flowers! ;-)

Hank Osborne is a blogger/podcaster encouraging parents to rise above the level of mediocrity. He is the geek dad of 5 (one still snug in the womb). Hank and his wife coach parents on Internet safety and homeschooling.

Set Up Your Environment for Success: Pre-toddlers and Home-Proofing

Source: safeslider.com

By Amanda, Planning On It

Home-proofing means “setting appropriate limitations” on your pre-toddler’s mobility, introducing freedoms only when your child is old enough and wise enough to understand how to handle them. Where does the difference lie between “home-proofing” your child and “baby-proofing” your home? It lies in philosophy. … In contrast, “baby-proofing” has parents rearranging their living area so the child is never placed in a situation where Mom or Dad would have to limit his freedom of exploration or confront him with the feared words, “No, don’t touch.”  –p. 129, On Becoming Pretoddlerwise

After reading the above description of home-proofing your child vs. child-proofing your home most Babywise parents will nod their heads in agreement. Then they will go their merry way thinking they can leave their home completely unchanged and surely they can train their pre-toddler not to touch any off-limits items. At least that’s what I thought.

And then my child actually became a pre-toddler.

I learned that maybe Ezzo didn’t mean that we should leave out the glass dishware on the coffee table, or that tube of medicated cream in the nursery, or all those DVDs on the low shelf right beside the toybox. Oops! Live and learn, right?

So how do you find that balance? How do you train your child in self-control and respect for others without either endangering their safety, causing irreparable damage, or just plain driving their mothers crazy?

Much like child-proofing, home-proofing your child starts with setting some physical boundaries. You will make use of baby gates and playpens, child locks and regular locks. But as above, the difference lies in philosophy. Your goal is very different. Your goal does not end with keeping your 15-month-old from throwing books all over the room; it ends with teaching him proper respect and care for those books. But in striving for that goal you also recognize he is just 15 months old and this will take time. You recognize that you can teach respect for books by keeping out a few paperbacks and then later reintroduce the rest of the books that usually reside on your coffee table or low bookshelf.

Here are a few tips and ideas on home-proofing your child while staying sane.

Put a physical limit in place if…

  1. An item is dangerous. All the moral training in the world isn’t much good if our kids don’t live to be 3, right? So first we make sure their environment is safe. This means put medications and even vitamins in very high medicine cabinets or locked in a toolbox or small safe. Put a child lock on that knife drawer. Put a latch on the front door that your child cannot reach. Make sure heavy furniture is secured, especially things like TVs and tall bookshelves. No need to go crazy, just do a few commonsense things as a precaution.
  2. An item is precious. If an item is very valuable, sentimental, or irreplaceable, do not leave it within reach of your pretoddler until you can rely on him to not touch it. The risk isn’t worth it for the emotional or financial distress it would cause you.
  3. Your child is driving you crazy. How do I define crazy? Well, if you find yourself yelling frequently, spanking frequently, or feeling exasperated or exhausted by the simple act of keeping your child out of trouble, then these are clear signs your child is outside his or her funnel! A pre-toddler can be brought back inside his funnel by putting a boundary in place to limit his activity. This allows you to keep an eye on him, and it allows you to focus on training him to one or two items at a time. Using a baby gate is not admitting defeat. It’s admitting that you have a healthy, active 12-18-month-old and need to scale back his freedoms so he can listen to your instruction better. By scaling back on the number of off-limits items you can really use your energy wisely to buckle down and enforce the “that’s a no” instruction with consistency, patience, and firmness for just a couple items. Once your child is reliable with those, expand the boundaries a bit again and work on training with a wider funnel and more off-limits items.

Keep in mind the foundational principle in Babywise, that you are welcoming your child as a part of the family, not rearranging the family to conform to his desires or asking him to tag along with your adult lifestyle. Do not rearrange your living room to look like a daycare or only decorate the top half of your Christmas tree. But also do not keep fragile vases on the coffee table and then lose your temper when your 15-month-old topples one over on herself in a mischievous moment. Welcome your newly walking pre-toddler into your home by making sure his needs of stimulating play and safety are met while also slowly but surely teaching him what is valuable in your home, what deserves more care and attention, and where his personal boundaries lie within the home.

Amanda blogs about her family and home organization adventures over at Planning On It. She’s a former teacher and nanny and currently a stay-at-home homeschooling mom to her three young children. 

Don’t Be a Slave to Your Schedule

Source: essentialbaby.com.au

I’ve been reading a lot more about Charlotte Mason’s homeschooling methodology lately, and I came across a little nugget of truth that I think has widespread ramifications. The book that I’m reading says to make living books the heart of your homeschooling day, but to not be a slave to them. If you find a book on Greek myths but decide that only one chapter educates the child in the way you deem fit, then there’s no reason to read the rest of the book. Move on to something else.

This applies to our lives with our children when we follow a schedule. Having a schedule (or routine) with your children pays huge dividends. A schedule keeps our children focused and out of trouble. It keeps them active and entertained, away from boredom and mischief. A schedule helps us ensure that they are learning and living their best lives.

But just as important as it is to set a book aside when it has served its purpose, we should treat our schedule the same way. We must realize when it has served its purpose. And rather than toss the schedule out the window once our kids start school or once they seem “old enough” and require less direction, we would be better off revising our schedule. Our schedule only works as long as it’s effective in achieving our goals. If we start to ignore our schedule for whatever reason and then become exasperated with our children, we need to look to our schedule first.

Coming back to the title of this post, we also need to realize when the schedule is ruling our lives. We cannot become a slave to our schedules. The schedule serves us, not the other way around. This is the same with living books in Charlotte Mason homeschools. The books must serve us, not the other way around. So rather than toiling away at the same schedule (or book) that has lost its effectiveness, we are better off setting it aside and considering what our schedule should look like given our current circumstances.

Another thing to consider when reevaluating your schedule is the type of schedule-follower you are. Are you the type that will follow your schedule to the minute? Or are you more inclined to not follow a schedule and let your day flow as it may? I think there’s a happy medium there that works best. We don’t to be a stickler and rigidly have roomtime when a neighbor comes to the door to play. Nor do we want to have a super-flexible day where there’s no time for enriching activities like roomtime and sustained silent reading.

Take a minute and reconsider your schedule or routine. Is it serving your purposes? Is it making you the best parent you can be? Is it enabling you to do more than simply make it to the end of the day? Whatever the reason, take a second look at your schedule. Revise it as needed. And here’s a little hint: rather than type it up on the computer or write it up neatly in columns, just scratch it out in pencil. Think of it as your first draft. Follow your schedule draft for a solid week before typing it up or writing it out in pen. Make a concerted effort to follow your new schedule, but keep an eraser handy so you can change it as you go.

Children Are Made Readers…

Source: society6.com

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” ~ Emilie Buchwald

I ran across this little quote recently. I love it! It really is so true. My husband and I read to the kids every night without fail. I majored in English in college and recognize what great literature can do for our minds. So I knew that when I had kids, I always wanted books to be a big part of our lives. I started reading to William when he was 4 months old. My hands were a little full when Lucas came along (with a 3yo with SPD and a deployed husband), so our nightly reading with him didn’t start until he was 6 months old.

I’m seeing the effects of all this reading pay off. William is a fairly advanced reader, speller, and writer. I attribute his success in this area to all the reading we do. I’ll read fairly advanced books to him while lying next to him in his bed, and he’ll follow along with me, reading over my shoulder. I find this to be so much more beneficial than having him read to himself. As he reads along with me, he can hear how words are correctly pronounced and how the inflection of my voice changes with various punctuation marks and as the book flows from one element to the next.

I remember reading along in a book in a high school English class and learning the pronunciation of the word “facade.” A classmate had read the word, and I was following along, so I learned how it was pronounced. Having read the book to myself at home, I never would have guessed that the word is pronounced as it is.

William is also gaining a great vocabulary from all of our reading. He received the Fablehaven books for Christmas, and at first, I wasn’t sure what to think of them. I was worried they would be too violent or mindless twaddle. But we started reading, and we love it! He likes the story line and the fact that a young boy is one of the main characters. I like the story line as well, but what I love most is the rich vocabulary! I read a sentence the other day that had several multi-syllabic words. It took me a minute to read and process the sentence.

Here’s a sentence from the book that gives you an idea: “But if I lose the protections afforded by the treaty, the consequences of my vulnerability would inevitably follow,” (Fablehaven, p. 278). Try saying that five times fast!

William won’t always ask me what the words mean, and that’s fine. Just exposing him to this rich vocabulary is what’s important to me. After he hears and sees a word for the third or fourth time, it will start to register. And again, me reading it to him is different from him reading it to himself. If he were reading it himself, he might stumble on the words. In fact, I wouldn’t even have him read a book at this level. It’s quite advanced. So since I read to him, he’s “reading” a level that is far above his own reading level.

My husband typically reads picture books to Lucas, and I was just saying to him the other day that I think he’s ready for chapter books. Lucas seems to have caught the reading bug, too. When we read chapter books for school, he has no trouble following along, and sometimes he’s more capable of giving me a narration (describing what happened in our reading) than William. I think I’ll recommend that they start on classic chapter books like Boxcar Children, Indian in the Cupboard, and Cricket in Times SquareMasterpiece by Elizabeth Broach is also a good one.

So if you haven’t started reading to your child on a regular basis, there’s no time like the present! And as you can see, it’s beneficial to read to a child long after he has begun reading to himself. Head to the library and grab a few books that catch your eye and get started. If you’re looking for more great titles, feel free to connect with me on Goodreads. You’ll see all the books that I’ve read and recommend (for myself and the kids).