My DS hates reading books (really likes to eat them though) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 03-10-2010, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This might sound ridiculous and maybe I'm just buying into the early reading=success mainstream mantra but I'm worried that my 7 mo DS doesn't like to read...AT ALL! I try to read books to him daily but all he wants to do is eat the book. We stick with board books for this reason though I've tried regular books out of his reach and the result is the same. I've tried reading in bed when we wake up, before and after naps, sitting in the rocker, sitting on the floor, in the highchair, before bed, in the bath (waterproof book)...everywhere. All he wants to do is grab and eat the book. If I give him a book to eat and keep the book to read, he throws his eating book away and wants the reading book. Everytime. He doesn't look at the pictures, he doesn't care if I use funny voices or make funny faces. I have been trying to read to DS since he was a few weeks old and prior to him being able to reach out and grab the book to eat it, he would fuss and worm around during the book and wouldn't ever really look at it. I'm a big reader and DS sees me reading frequently. Have any other mamas had this issue? Did you LO's end up enjoying books?

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#2 of 19 Old 03-10-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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Not a big deal. I think we're sold a bill of goods in terms of early reading (and this coming from a hyper-verbal avid reader and English teacher). It's normal at this age that your son would prefer eating books. Just make sure you buy ones that will stand up to his gnawing.

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#3 of 19 Old 03-10-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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My DS didn't like to be read to until he was 3 years old. I didn't bother reading to him much because he didn't care and really wanted to be doing something else..

He started reading when he was 5, and now at 6yo is reading really well. I started doing letters, phonics and other reading related things at age appropriate times. It really didn't take much and he started reading at a totally normal time. I say, let your baby do what they enjoy and also, 7mo is WAY too early to be concerned.

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#4 of 19 Old 03-10-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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I wouldn't be concerned. I used to try and read to DD all the time and she wasn't interested. She's push the book away and try to climb off and away from me. She's a year old and has just started to sit down and actually look at her board books and will occasionally bring one over to me to read to her. We usually only get through a couple of pages before she's onto something else, but every little bit counts!

I do read to her while I'm nursing her before bed. That's the only time she's ever really still enough to listen to me read.

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#5 of 19 Old 03-10-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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DD's 9 months now and I still can't sit and read a book to her. So I set out 2 books...she'll play with one while a read a few pages of the other. Then when she decides she wants the one I'm reading, I give it to her and start reading from the other. I figure it's more about her hearing different words right now that following a storyline. We only do this once or twice a week.

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#6 of 19 Old 03-10-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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I agree with everyone else. I think 7 months is a time when most babies are still into exploring the world around them by putting everything in their mouths and grabbing things. My 7 month old only eats books as well. I wouldn't worry!
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#7 of 19 Old 03-10-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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The only ones my DS (10 mo) likes are the touchy-feely books, like "That's not my monster" and "The hungry caterpillar" (the one with holes in the pages). I sit opposite him, rather than on my lap, and let him turn the pages, which keeps him interested. But still all of the books are eaten on the edges, just like they were when we had a pet rabbit, LOL.

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#8 of 19 Old 03-10-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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Definitely take a deep breath and relax. 'Reading' doesn't only mean compleating a story from start to finish. It means turning pages, looking at the colors and letters. It also means reading the same two pages four or five times in a row.

DD1 never liked being read to until she was almost 3. So we played with books and managed to get through some of them occassionally. Now at 3.5 she LOVES being read to and is starting to read a bit herself.

Maybe he'd like one of those squishy books that crinkle and squeek?

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#9 of 19 Old 03-10-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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Our lovely local librarian lady came to our baby drop in in the other day to teach us mamas how to encourage early literacy.

She very emphatically stated that it doesn't matter if you get through the whole book or just one page, just that you have them around, you read as often and as long as babe is engaged (she said that the time between blinks indicates rapt attention), and you converse with your baby as you go through your day.

DD is a book lover and always has been, and will happily sit still for ten books in a row, and her best buddy (exact same age) is a book eater, and I bet they will be at the same level of literacy come three or four years old. Her buddy, on the other hand, is way more advanced than she is with gross motor skills, and again, I bet they'll level out in good time.

Keep reading, mama!

ps. It helps for us to follow the words with our fingers, so DD connects that the words coming out of our mouths are linked with the words on the page. My school-teacher auntie taught me that trick, and it helped a lot when DD was a ten-second-per-book five month old ... it really slowed her down.

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#10 of 19 Old 03-11-2010, 12:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dicksonley View Post
This might sound ridiculous and maybe I'm just buying into the early reading=success mainstream mantra but I'm worried that my 7 mo DS doesn't like to read...AT ALL! I try to read books to him daily but all he wants to do is eat the book. We stick with board books for this reason though I've tried regular books out of his reach and the result is the same. I've tried reading in bed when we wake up, before and after naps, sitting in the rocker, sitting on the floor, in the highchair, before bed, in the bath (waterproof book)...everywhere. All he wants to do is grab and eat the book. If I give him a book to eat and keep the book to read, he throws his eating book away and wants the reading book. Everytime. He doesn't look at the pictures, he doesn't care if I use funny voices or make funny faces. I have been trying to read to DS since he was a few weeks old and prior to him being able to reach out and grab the book to eat it, he would fuss and worm around during the book and wouldn't ever really look at it. I'm a big reader and DS sees me reading frequently. Have any other mamas had this issue? Did you LO's end up enjoying books?
OMG, I seriously was thinking about posting this last week, word for word, even the "eating book" part. DD wants it SHUT! And then to eat it and throw it. I just keep doing it every day.

The only success I had just this week had was Goodnight Moon, right after the bath even before clothes. I can read the page real quick and flip it before she reaches out and it seems to stop her every time. Maybe try books that have very few words on each page and read through REAL quick? LOL! Maybe you can slow down the pace little by little after that.
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#11 of 19 Old 03-11-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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The taggies books are good for this time because they are fabric, and try to stick with fast paced books like 1 word or sentence at most per page. Also reading aloud while baby plays and singing and talking are also important and less frustrating.

Mom to: Honey (6/04) and Bunny (9/09)
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#12 of 19 Old 03-11-2010, 04:17 AM
 
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DS1 was around 16 months before he started to enjoy being read to. He is almost 3 now and LOVES books and can sit and be read to for hours, it seems.

Kirsten, mama to Monkey since May 2007 and Bean born 11/7/09
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#13 of 19 Old 03-11-2010, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the suggestions! I'm not really hyper worried; I know DS will like books for reading, not eating in his own time. I just thought that after 6 months of daily reading something would have clicked for him. I guess they are just too darn delicious! One time he sat through most of The Very Hungry Caterpillar but that was mostly because he kept getting his finger stuck in the holes and I got to finish the page before he figured out how to get it out. Just this morning the babysitter had a book with three stretchy spiders attached that we read a few pages of because he was focused on pulling the spiders. Maybe books with lots of toys attached are the answer!

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#14 of 19 Old 03-12-2010, 02:47 AM
 
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My son does this exact same thing! I have a masters in child development and do believe in reading to him everyday, but the early reading thing is ridiculous.
Reading should be enjoyable and if eating his books is what he enjoys right now, that is what he should do.

Try hard to not get worried or hyperactive about wanting him to read, he will sense that and stay away from books longer.

You need to read to yourself internally or out loud. Read your own books, have a literate environment like having books around and talking to him all day.

I also do the read a page or two of one book, then when he grabs that one switch.

Also, consider TELLING stories. I believe this is almost more important than books because children can see the pictures on the walls of their heads rather than an illustrator telling them what something looks like.

The Storytellers Startup book is a good one as well as this one: http://http://www.turnthepage.com/de...By=title&cat=1
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#15 of 19 Old 03-12-2010, 03:04 AM
 
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The key to having kids that love to read is for you to read. Anytime you get a chance. It doesn't have to be to him, you just have to create an environment where reading is something that people enjoy.

And eventually he will start letting you read to him. DS still doesn't like to be read to, though he does like to snuggle when I read silently to myself sometimes. We don't worry about it because DH, DD and I all read silently and to each other every chance we get.

It's best not to make it a struggle, really. It's like learning, try and force it and all interest is lost, it becomes a chore.

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#16 of 19 Old 03-12-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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My 7 mo DS mostly likes to shut the books and eat them too, but there are a handful that he will sit patiently for and listen through the whole thing. I think he really likes the ones with rhythm, rhyme, and predictability. Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Good Night Moon are two of his favorites. He'll calm right down for them.

Other boooks are hit or miss depending on his mood.
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#17 of 19 Old 03-12-2010, 12:23 PM
 
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My DS has been read to from day one. The first few months he would sit quietly and listen. Then at about 6 months he suddenly got WAY too busy. He would not sit still long enough to look at even the shortest board book. For a few months I would try, but we never got through a book. Now he is almost 10 months old and it's starting to get easier to read to him again. He has to be in the right mood - sleepy enough to be still, but not overtired and cranky. But if I catch him in that mood he will listen to 3-4 short board books now! It will come in time. Good luck!
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#18 of 19 Old 03-12-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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we've always had lots of books around, we read lots of books, books available for play/reading/whatever, trips to the library, etc.
having said all that, dd1 loved to eat, dump, sit on, basically anything but read those books. she was probably a good 14 months old or so before she really would sit and let us read to her (and i'm talking about 4 page board books with one word per page), even though we attempted it everyday.
she's now 33 months old and LOVES, LOVES, LOVES books (and has for the past 6-9 months). she'll sit with us to read books that are 20 pages long with lots of words for hours on end. seriously. sometimes we read books for 2 hours at a time.
he'll come around in his own time. given his environment, sounds like he'll be loving books (and not just to eat!) before too long.
actually, now that i think about it, maybe he's just showing that he'd prefer to look at books about food?

wife to dh, mama to dd1   june 2007, dd2 march 2009 and dd3 april 2011
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#19 of 19 Old 03-12-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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Sure, early reading TO your child is lovely and certainly a nice way to phase into the proper reading of later on. But there are many reasons for this, APART from the "storeis come from books; these are words; you will learn to understand how to decipher the letters" thing. Positive attention from you = very important to your child's development. Being able to experience an abject (be it an apple, a book or a toy) from start to finish (i.e. looking, touching, holding, eating, then casting away - a complete experience) is very important as well.

Being able to figure out that stories come out of books and that he or she is learning to read before age 1? Well I like the circus-trick "Your Baby can Read" thing as much as anyone else, but it's not necessary and has been proven not to particularly help your child get much further at all, come grade school level...

Let's look at this from a child's point of view. He or she sees a toy. They pick the toy up and give it a good look-over, noting the colors and the contrast between them; the weight; if the toy makes a squeak or some other kind of noise; if it is hard or soft; warm or cold - all of these tactile things. Then he or she wants to taste the book, to see what it tastes like, since the child has now learned that they have the wonderful ability to taste and that one thing tastes different from another - and that some things taste good, and bring pleasure! What does the toy feel like in his or her mouth? Is it squishy? Can he or she make it softer by chewing on it?

Since toys are just "things," there are a lot of other objects that qualify for this treatment as well. Everything, in fact! From your cellphone, to a piece of carpet fluff, to, well, a book! The fact that you are reading words that come FROM the book might be a connection that is made a heck of a lot later than 7 months! If your 7 month old can sit through a book, it may be that your child is simply liking the fact that when this particular object is around, mommy or daddy seem very interested in it, and interested in them at the same time, for a while. That if the child tries to eat the book, the situation changes and they don't get that same atmospheric feeling any more.

So every child is different. Your little human might not think that what YOU think is important really is important at the moment - he or she might be more interested in the taste. Heck, maybe they'll grow up to be fabulous chefs! All in all, understanding that the shapes on the pages are letters; they make words; mommy reads the words and talks to make a story will come when it is ready to come. Don't worry about a thing, mama!

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