My Little Experiment
In this post, I want to talk about how a little experiment has sparked curiosity in my kid to read books. This post is not to boast how great I am or how great my parenting skills are.
It was the year of 2017 when my son was less than 2 months old. I don’t know the precise day but I definitely remember the approximate month. During this time frame, we opened a gift that we received from one of our friends. The gift was a playmat on which newborns lay down with their belly up and stare at the hanging ornaments. This gift also had an accompanying book written by Sandra Boynton called - The going to bed book. I was fascinated by the book and a thought came to my mind.
Who decided that kids need to be of certain age before we can read them books?
We have heard that kids don’t recognize things before a certain time. But hey I am not an expert at child psychology. So I thought, let’s read this book to him. Even if it just meant flipping pages.
Before I go into the details, my son like most newborn was very active and is still very active till date. By active I mean, he drains our energy every night before going to bed. He would just keep kicking his legs at night and would be very active. I am sure, if you have a kid, you might have experienced this. This is kids being kids.
Back to the story, so I picked up the book and I laid down next to him and opened up the book so he could see the book while still laying on his back with his belly up.
As soon as I flipped the first page and the pictures came along, he stopped moving. He stopped kicking. I was amazed by his reaction and so I kept reading to him. I called my wife and she was amazed as well.
That night is still etched in my memory and I cannot forget what happened.
We realized that we try to underestimate kids but in fact they are way smarter than we are. We understand this fact but we had experienced this first hand that night.
From that point onwards, we have brought many books from the local library home, many times over 15, and have read to him almost every night.
Some books have caught his frenzy that he would always want us to read those same books again and again. For example, the Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli
He is now three and recently I have bought a Space book from Costco and he is fascinated by everything Space. He has memorized stuff from this book because everyday we are reading this book to him for more than a month now. I don’t believe in rote memorization but I am still amazed that at 3 years of age when I ask him which probe went to Neptune and he excitedly answers Voyager 2.
I don’t know what is going to happen next. Will we be able to keep this same enthusiasm forward?
We feel guilty when we are tired and don’t want to read a book to him. But when we look at him and his excitement for reading a book, then we can’t help it.
I can hardly remember nights when we didn’t read books to him. A small thought and an experiment has done wonders for us.