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Most young children are not read to on a daily basis. - Page 2

post #21 of 166
i think reading aloud to your child isn't any more important or influential than telling a story face to face or having conversations/little (spontaneous) lessons about daily events and happenings.

i think it's a great service to the kids to learn the attention span and imagination skills they get when they are looking into their parents' eyes and listening to a story and experiencing the pictures of the story as their mind hears it........
post #22 of 166
I guess we are part of the 52% who don't read every night. Now, I live in a house full of books and I work in a library but some nights we tell stories instead of reading them and sometimes we sing songs. I love books but there were times in my life they got between me and learning to interact as a human being. (I'm a nerd. I miss social cues. At 38 I'm finally catching on to this.)
post #23 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
I'm a devoted bookworm. I read all the time. My kids are read to all the time. BUT ... in a way I really don't see the big deal, IF those kids are receiving parental attention and stimulation by other means. Do their parents get down on the floor and play with them? Encourage their imaginations? Involve them in their everyday activities? Storytell without books? Read to them sometimes, if not every day? Give their children "undivided, loving attention" that has nothing to do with reading?

Like I said, I love books ... but I have a hard time with the notion that parents who don't are by definition deglecting a necessity. There are a lot of cultures in this world in which leisure reading is just not an element, in which children are still given rich, full upbringings.
I feel very much the same way. I found the quote in the OP offensive, to be honest. I'm a chronic bookworm - the one thing I really don't like about being home with kids all day is that I no longer have the block of time - bus commute - where I used to be able to sit down and just suck up pages and pages and pages with no interruptions.

That said, I rarely read to my children at bedtime. I currently read to dd - ds2, as well, if he's not napping - for about an hour most days. She wanted me to read her the Harry Potter series, so that's what I'm doing. That only started a few months ago, though. Before that, our reading time was really hit or miss. Some days, we'd read several kids books throughout the day, and on other days, we wouldn't read anything.

What really bothers me about the quote in the OP is this:
Quote:
That's 13 million children under 6 years old who are going to bed every night without a bedtime story — without the undivided, loving attention that comes with sharing a favorite book with their parents
First of all, Dr. Zuckerman makes that sound as though the 52 percent who aren't read to every night are never read to. That's not what it says. Second...my kids get lots of undivided, loving attention at bedtime. We just happen to have a family tradition, going back to my mom with us, of singing at bedtime, as opposed to reading. With ds1, I used to sing for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes every night. With dd and ds2, it's usually about 10-15. We also have individual bedtime rituals (not baths and such - a routine sequence of hugs, kisses, "goodnight", "sweet dreams", etc.) that we go through every night. The implication that children who aren't being read to each and every single night are being somehow neglected is really condescending.
post #24 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

First of all, Dr. Zuckerman makes that sound as though the 52 percent who aren't read to every night are never read to. That's not what it says. .
thanks for pointing that out. I was taking it that 52 percent are never read to on a regular basis, which is wrong.
post #25 of 166
I try to read to my son every day -in French and English. I think it's important (obviously), but I agree that it's not the only thing -it's important to just plain interact with your kids, spend time with then, introduce them to new things, new ideas. Books are a great way to do that.

My mom read to me and my brother at bedtime all the way through elementary school -it's one of my favourite memories.

Nova Scotia has a wonderful program called "Read to Me" (http://readtome.ca/) which started in 2002 and gives the parents of every baby born in-hospital a bag of childrens' books in either French or English (as a side-note I don't know about babies born at home -that would be interesting to find out). The bag has several books as well as pamphlets about the importance of reading to children. I thought it was a really wonderful gift and a sweet way to promote reading to children, especially in a province where 52% of the population has limited literacy.

I don't know if it would work as well in a country without free healthcare and hospital access, but that's the way it is here.
post #26 of 166
Having just skimmed over the whole thread, I'm a little disturbed at how many posters are talking about how sad they feel for these kids. I wasn't read to every day as a child. I actually don't remember being read to that much at all. Mom took us out every day, or close to it, for walks through the local parks and ravines. When we were home, we helped her bake or make root beer, or dill pickles or whatever. We had many family outings to the aquarium (my parents were members - their biggest non-necessary investment, as we were far from well-off). We spent hours in the yard and in the garden every spring and summer. As mentioned before, mom sang to us every night at bedtime. We had very full, active childhoods, with a ton of attention from both our parents (odd as it sounds, one of our favourite outings as kids was when dad took us with him to the landfill). Reading out loud was seldom part of it.

For all that, I was already reading when I started kindergarten. I don't remember how or why I taught myself, but I assume I just wanted to know why my mom, dad and older brother spent so much time with their noses buried in those silly books! Until I hit high school, and my emotional problems got the better of me, I was a star student in all the academic subjects, and considered anything less than 95% on a test to be just unacceptable. Throughout high school, despite being a "hood", I took a minimum of three novels a week out of the library and read them all - both librarians commented to me at one time or another that they wished they could read as fast as I do.

I really didn't suffer from the lack of out loud reading. Neither did either of my siblings. Books were a big deal in our house...just not in that particular way. (I actually wonder if mom was like me. I find it really frustrating to slow myself down enough to read out loud, and I don't enjoy books that much when I'm reading them out loud.) My mom and I are the major bookworms...but my dad, brother and sister all read for pleasure, as well. Actually, my brother is probably almost as much of a bookworm as mom and I, except that he's also driven to be more physically active (he was very hyperactive when he was young, and it still shows) and he's not a natural speed reader.

So...nobody really needs to feel sad for us, yk? We got lots and lots of undivided, loving attention, and we all love to read.

I hate the way this has evolved into some kind of ultimate litmus test for parents over the last few decades.
post #27 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Parental functional illiteracy is one reason (not "excuse") that many children are not read to on a nightly basis. A parent may not feel like revealing that reason to you if they do not know you extremely well or trust you completely.

http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/628308

"In the US, 43% of the adult population is at the below or basic level for prose literacy"

So before you roll your eyes and judge the "bad parents" who don't read to their kids every night, remember that there can be reasons that are not apparent.
post #28 of 166
And as a homeschooler, my children are not read to daily.
post #29 of 166
I think the problem is that parents don't start when their baby is like 1 wk old, so then time just evolves and the kids don't develop much attn span for it and the parents just don't ever get around to it. The kid has lived thus long w/o it so why start now?

I'm a huge fan of starting as soon as possible after birth. DD loved looking at the pictures under 1 wk old. Just a few secs per page while I pointed out things to her. Now at 3 she's good for chapter books with little to no pictures - has a much longer attn span and much larger vocab than her peers.

Also it's important to know how to start - just spending 3-5 seconds per page pointing out something the child likes (animals, flowers etc for example "Here's a doggie. Doggie says woof woof, woof woof" and then on to the next page). Well before a year a child will sit thru board book stories and other short stories if one begins this way. It's also important to vary tone of voice and act dramatic and excited to keep little one's attention. "Oh wow! A cat! Cat says meow,meow"

I am not surprised so many kids are not read to. We are a media driven society not a print society anymore. It is appalling tho.
post #30 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I hate the way this has evolved into some kind of ultimate litmus test for parents over the last few decades.
Well, it's an easy test to pass - quality of the books and reading does not matter, all you have to do is read to your child every night and you've passed the "test". Not very difficult, and you can pat yourself on the back and call yourself a good parent. Not many parenting issues are so cut and dried
post #31 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Well, it's an easy test to pass - quality of the books and reading does not matter, all you have to do is read to your child every night and you've passed the "test". Not very difficult, and you can pat yourself on the back and call yourself a good parent. Not many parenting issues are so cut and dried
Fair enough. I can certainly see that at work in some cases.

It's not that easy for me to do, though. I find reading out loud very difficult. That seems strange as I talk a lot and I read a lot. The two just don't go together for me very well. When I read Harry Potter to dd, the idea is at least a chapter a day. I was originally going to do only one, but she frequently talks me into two. Occasionally, she's even managed to convince me to read three. By the time I put the book down, I'm done. I find it so exhausting.
post #32 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Fair enough. I can certainly see that at work in some cases.

It's not that easy for me to do, though. I find reading out loud very difficult. That seems strange as I talk a lot and I read a lot. The two just don't go together for me very well. When I read Harry Potter to dd, the idea is at least a chapter a day. I was originally going to do only one, but she frequently talks me into two. Occasionally, she's even managed to convince me to read three. By the time I put the book down, I'm done. I find it so exhausting.
I wasn't really serious, just riffing on how people like to be able to tick boxes that make them feel like a "good parent".
post #33 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached Mama View Post
I am not surprised so many kids are not read to. We are a media driven society not a print society anymore. It is appalling tho.
The OP's quote doesn't say anything about how many children aren't being read to. It says that 52% aren't being read to every night. That's not the same thing at all.

Incidentally, I watched more tv as a kid than my children do ("prime" time - after dinner was done). My whole family watched it. We also all read books. I knew kids, even back in the "old days" (early to mid 70s) who didn't watch much tv or read. They were into active games and/or board games and spent most of their time on those things.
post #34 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I wasn't really serious, just riffing on how people like to be able to tick boxes that make them feel like a "good parent".
I know. I fight that one a lot. I'm totally into "free range" kids, but then I start thinking I need to get them to be a little less free range...and either way, I'm wanting to tick off a box ("I'm a good parent because my children have lots of time to engage in independent play" vs. "I'm a good parent because I'm providing enriching activities"). Craziness.
post #35 of 166
There are some kids who aren't ready to be read to on a daily basis. My son was one of them. I'd try time and time again - even going to storytime at the library every single week since 4 months old - and he couldn't handle sitting through a single story until after 4 years old! He's now 5 and loves to be read the Goosebumps stories every night. So, his attention span wasn't enough for picture books and we just had to wait until it was enough for the books without pictures - since they were more interesting to him! The problem wasn't that we waited too long to start reading since we tried from day one. The "problem" was that he wasn't ready.

My daughter, on the other hand, has always been read to every single day multiple times. Some kids love books - but not all do right away!

I do think that you should try to read books to your kids from a very young age - but also recognize that all kids are different! And not all kids will be able to handle being read to - and that's okay!
post #36 of 166
when i read the first post i was in the "those parents suck" camp, but now i'm actually thinking about it.

my mom read to my brother and i every night through grade school. we had a family tradition at christmas time (reading a book called "a story a day till christmas") that continued till i left for college!

i do think reading to kids is very, very important, but not more important than having real world experiences.

i read to our 21mo DD every day, but not at bedtime. books don't calm her down.. they get her mind going 90mph and that is not something i want right before sleep.
we cosleep, and DH and i get in bed with DD, she nurses for a while then rolls to the middle where DH rubs her belly and i stroke her face. it is one of DH's and my favorite times of day. DD is very intense in everything she does, and this is the one time we can just relax and cuddle with her for longer than 3.2 seconds! hehee i would call this "undivided, loving attention" even though it doesn't involve books!
post #37 of 166
:

i thought the numbers would be much worse....
post #38 of 166
I'm curious what people who believe reading is an integral element to strong intellectual/creative development think of oral storytelling cultures, recitation traditions, etc?
post #39 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama2Rio View Post
:

i thought the numbers would be much worse....
Me too.
post #40 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Second...my kids get lots of undivided, loving attention at bedtime. We just happen to have a family tradition, going back to my mom with us, of singing at bedtime, as opposed to reading. .....The implication that children who aren't being read to each and every single night are being somehow neglected is really condescending.


We don't read to our sons at bedtime

We curl up, turn off the lights, and then I usually end up reciting Good Night Moon, or the Very Hungry Caterpillar, or one of a dozen other books that I have memorized at this point.

Does that earn me my pat on the back or not?
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