I cannot read (or teach) anything to my baby! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a very active and happy baby boy, 11 months old.
I know it is important to read to him
But i can't, it is almost impossible to sit with him and do anything
He wants to be in the go at all times and wants me to be involved too
If I try to pick a book and start reading, he comes and tries to take it away, like "mommy, drop that and come play with me"

In any case even while playing I don't seem to be able to teach him a thing, I can try to tell him about colors or numbers, but I end up with him over my head and giggling.

I love playing with him and I just love that he is so happy, but I would really like to be able to read to him.

Any ideas??
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#2 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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Just ENJOY him!

At the risk of sounding sexist, boys tend to want to be more physical and less linguistic. It took years for my son to have a slight interest in books. He must of been about 4 or 5 before he had interest. But it all worked out, he read at 6 and now as a teen he reads 700 page books in 2 or 3 days.

Just enjoy his energy and eat him up ;-) There will be plenty of time for quiet time as the years go on.

-Kolleen
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#3 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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I agree to just enjoy him! Do what he loves to do. My son loves books, but it took awhile for my DD to love them too.

There was some research about just being around books and having books in the house and reading them yourself was more effective in teaching kids to love reading. (Can't remember where I read that)

Also - just have them around while you play. You don't have to SIT to enjoy books!

Board books stacked up make cool houses. (like a house of cards) Also - board books lined up in a row make good race tracks for cars. Put them at an angle and watch them go fast downhill while learning about gravity!

Board books set up like an A frame make nice car tunnels for matchbox cars. Put books in the grocery carts or wagons you have as toys. You get the idea.

He is young yet. Don't stress about teaching. Just bring in colors and numbers to your everyday conversation with him. Do you want this red car? Oh! look at that yellow ball. I have two cookies, would you like one? You have two hands.

Every time you walk up the stairs, count them out, one two three. That type of thing worked well for us. No stress, just observations about numbers and colors in your everyday activities.

Enjoy it mama!
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#4 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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There's plenty of time to read to him later. If you can, play with him. He's learning heaps from being with you. If you can't, put him in a carrier and go about your business; he'll be learning heaps of different things.

If you MUST "read" to him, then sing/recite all the nursery rhymes you know; that's better than reading to him because then they have your heartwarmth in them. If you don't know any, learn some. They're fun!
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#5 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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11 months is really young to sit still. My almost 2 yo doesn't like to sit still long enough to read a book. She would rather grab the book and "read" it herself aka tear pages. We try to have board books and cloth books that she can "read" for herself. Learning should not occur in isolation. When you are actively playing, you can teach him stuff like "Let's get the red ball." or "Wow, that block is a triangle." or "Let's count the balls/pillows/whatever as we throw them." Even if you aren't talking about colors, numbers, words, etc., your little one is still learning. At 11 months, colors, numbers, and stuff like that is a bit advanced. I wouldn't worry about teaching him stuff at that level and would instead try to make sure that he has plenty of stuff to touch, feel, and manipulate.
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#6 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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I have an 11 month old, too. :

Children and babies learn best through play. They learn by experiencing their environment. Don't worry about teaching him. He'll pick it up over time if you just incorporate those concepts into your play. And as for reading to him... maybe it would be enough for you to read a book out loud while he's playing on the floor. He doesn't have to be looking at the book. Or you can put a bunch of board books on a shelf that he has access to. Sometimes just pulling them off the shelf is a fun game. And at this age, the point really is more that they are interacting with books than listening to stories.

Another good thing to do is talk or sing to him. All the time. When you're in the car, cooking dinner, playing, whatever. This will help so much with language development.

Finally, just remember to enjoy your child who will develop at his very own personalized rate. If he doesn't know all of his color by the time he's 3... no biggie. If he's not reading by the time he's in kindergarten...don't worry. I guess my point is, that if you love your baby and do your best to make sure that your interactions with him are fun and positive... then he'll learn and grow at the pace that is best for him.

Enjoy your baby... this is such a fun age. They are learning so much right now (even if it doesn't look like traditional learning, believe me... they are learning).

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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#7 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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If he doesn't enjoy being read to, he's not going to get anything out of it anyway, so just let him go and do his thing. He sounds like a really fun kid.

FWIW, I don't read to my 18-month-old. I sing him songs and talk to him constantly, but like your DS, he is waaay too active to sit down and look at a book. He doesn't stop going going going for a single minute that he's awake.
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#8 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by NewMom0208 View Post
I have a very active and happy baby boy, 11 months old.
I know it is important to read to him
But i can't, it is almost impossible to sit with him and do anything
He wants to be in the go at all times and wants me to be involved too
If I try to pick a book and start reading, he comes and tries to take it away, like "mommy, drop that and come play with me"

In any case even while playing I don't seem to be able to teach him a thing, I can try to tell him about colors or numbers, but I end up with him over my head and giggling.

I love playing with him and I just love that he is so happy, but I would really like to be able to read to him.

Any ideas??
What kind of books are you trying to read to him? Babies that age tend to love simpler books full of bright pictures (or better yet photos) that they can point to and you can name the object for them. Try books like this: http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Baby-Ani.../dp/0312491956

Sandra Boynton has some fun books for babies as well (http://www.amazon.com/But-Not-Hippop...2936018&sr=1-1), and the Touch and Feel series by DK publishing would be fun and age-appropriate.

When you read to him, I wouldn't read with the purpose of finishing the book or teaching him a lesson. If he wants to skip pages or just know the names of a few items on each page, that's good enough. Just read his signals to guess what he is most interested in on each page. He's not old enough for a lengthy plot but seeing baby books with photos of animals, trucks, babies and other things that you can't otherwise see in your own bedroom or living room should be a treat for him and should be good for his vocabulary.
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#9 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 11:21 PM
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(HUGS) I'm in the same boat right now. ds2 has no interest in anything I try to teach him. He is so much fun and I love it, but so much of the brain's mass is developed and so many connections are made before the age of 5, even before the age of 2!! so I try, you know though, sometimes you think they arent paying attetnion but they are picking up on things.
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#10 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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it's NOT a boy/girl thing. Our oldest had no interest in being read to until she was 6-7 years old! Now, she's reading better than 10+ year olds, and we can't give her enough books to read. Our 4 year old DD2 has a book fetish that started a little over 1 year. I'm pretty sure she'll be reading soon.

I say make sure you have books around and make periodic efforts to read, but do not stress over it. And don't substitute tv or electronic media for books.

Mama to 3 girls 12,8,3
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#11 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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i agree with all the pp.
for my dd she would sit for five seconds or be climbing over my head while i read books, but now she will tell me what she wants to read about or will pick out a book herself. (at 20 mo)
one thing we did was to take books inthe car. she was stuck there anyway and would listen to me read or look at the pictures herself.

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#12 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 11:45 PM
 
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i agree that you shouldn't worry too much about trying to "teach" things, per se. if you do want to interest him in books, try just pointing out the pictures and saying "dog", "horse" or whatever. i also have an active child. i did a lot of making up stories about the pictures to interest her until she was about two and a half, at which point she, on her own, began to notice the words and insists that i read them now. previously she was much more interested in looking at the pictures and just talking about what was going on in the scenes.

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#13 of 47 Old 01-25-2009, 11:58 PM
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Totally agree-- just let him play. DD is the kind of kid who will sit for books for hours, and that's its own kind of challenge (it made me soooo sleepy to read for an hour after getting up with her at 5am!). He's learning through his activities. You can sing and chant nursery rhymes; rhymes are supposed to be very good in terms of language development.
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#14 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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My boys really didn't care anything about books, brightly colored or not, except that they were fun to throw, tear, and eat. It was a shock to me because DD would look at paper paged books for hours, very carefully, even when she was under 2.

So I just shrugged and let individual kids be individual kids.

It's really NOT going to hurt their brains or brain connections if you don't push sit down reading. Honestly, really, truly.

All 3 of my kids were reading before the age of 5 (granted, DD taught herself about a year earlier than the boys did), despite their varied interest in books at under 2 years of age.

Don't push it. But do keep books available. Let him see YOU enjoying a book (not his books, but a book developmentally appropriate for you ;>) frequently. Offer to read on a regular basis, but don't get fearful if he declines.

Not all of us are wired to be bookworms, and even some bookworms aren't wired to be that way when they're toddlers.
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#15 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 12:02 AM
 
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Don't worry! Read the wonderful Jim Trelease's books about raising readers (The Read-Aloud Handbook is great), and he'll note that babies this age want to chew on their books way more than they want to be read to. It's not a problem! Just read around him if he doesn't want to sit and let you read to him. He'll get more focus when he gets older. My son is almost 11 months old and he's the same way. He loves books and is fascinated by them, but mostly it's about picking them up, opening and closing them, and dropping them and saying 'Uh-oh!', not listening to me read them. I think that's exactly to be expected at this age. Just keep reading to him, near him or around him, and giving him books to play with.

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#16 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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SEEING parents read has proven to be almost as valuable as reading to them! The value of reading is in the love of reading, and having you model that behavior is great! We have a book shelf in the living room (just a little 3 shelf one) and one row is the kids. We also have a basket of seasonal books. We just keep them out and around. My DS liked totally different books than my DD. His favorites at that age were the Usborne "That's Not My..." books. Very short and tactile with lots of bright colors. We have "That's Not My... Tractor, Puppy, Dragon, and Truck." Don't worry!! Just keep them out and around. We read to the kids often now, but didn't push it when they were little, busy and uninterested. It will come

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#17 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 12:09 AM
 
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DD1 was 3 before I could ever read even a VERY short book to her. DD2 is 2 and books get a huge thumbs down from her right now. Children normally pick up colors, shapes, numbers in their every day life, just putting away the groceries is a "lesson" in all of that!

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#18 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 12:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Peony View Post
DD1 was 3 before I could ever read even a VERY short book to her. DD2 is 2 and books get a huge thumbs down from her right now. Children normally pick up colors, shapes, numbers in their every day life, just putting away the groceries is a "lesson" in all of that!
ITA! You can learn numbers, colors and shapes by being drilled I guess, but you learn them just as easily, and happily, in day to day life.

ex. Would you like a red apple? Yummy, I will give you two slices.

That is how most kids learn, and learn well. Put the books away for a time, read in front of him, let him play.

Mom of two boys (7/05 and 2/09)
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#19 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 02:44 AM
 
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Don't worry about it. I almost never read to ds1. (I love to read, but really don't care for reading out loud. I've had to work on that.) What I did do was sing to him every night as he fell asleep. I had 12 songs I chose from, and some nights I sang all twelve (some quite long). He loved it, and I didn't stop for a long time. Now, I sing to dd and ds2, and sometimes read to them. DH sometimes reads to them. We do it as a fun thing, and if they don't wants us to, we don't.

DS1 actually told me in kindergarten that "reading sucks". For all that, in third grade, he tested as gifted, and he's had his nose in a book a lot over the last few years (spent last summer reading all 7 Harry Potter books from beginning to end, for example), despite having lots of other interests...drawing, juggling, playing guitar, gymnastics, snowboarding, etc. etc. etc. The fact that he was rarely read to as a child (never as young as 11 months) hasn't hurt him at all.

At 11 months, the most important thing to do to teach your child is have fun with them.

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#20 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 04:03 AM
 
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Here's a blog post I wrote about just the same thing:
http://childlanguage.blogspot.com/20...k-mystery.html

It took:
1. Time
2. Books with PHOTOS, not drawings
3. More time

for ds to enjoy books.

He's 7 1/2. Quite literate. Loves to be read to. It'll come.

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#21 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 09:57 AM
 
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There are so many wonderful books for small children and our society encourages literacy as early as possible, but really, babies and toddlers don't NEED books to become readers when it is time. If you were going to participate in Waldorf education, you wouldn't be using books until he had been in school a couple of years. Just follow his lead. He'll show interest in books when he wants to. When that happens has no bearing on is future reading skills if you are talking to him, singing with him, and telling him stories.
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#22 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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In my experience, it is common for babies to be this way. I think it is more important that he sees you reading and enjoying books. Give him some board books to toss around, and try to look at them with him occasionally. When he gets interested you'll notice.

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#23 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 12:30 PM
 
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My DD went through a period like this. I crawled after her reading. Then one day the switch went on and she started demanding to be read to. Hasn't stopped.
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#24 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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DD didnt have any interest in books until around 16mo. Her first book was about something she already knew about - dogs. Once she realized that the dogs in the book look like our dogs, she really got into it. Now, at 18mo, she 'reads' by herself (flips through books, babbling to herself) and we read every night before bed.
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#25 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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My booboo is (was) like that too. We ended up working out several other activities that focus on books. You say that he comes up to you to take the book away, pass the book back and forth, my baby loves passing games!

Here are some the activities we do that are book-related:
1) Turning the pages
2) Passing the book back and forth
3) Hiding behind the book, playing peek-a-boo
4) Setting the books up on the ends and letting him knock them over

Also, you can memorize the books and recite them as your baby is playing with it. I do this with the Dr. Suess books because they are too long for him to sit while I turn the pages one by one. Sandra Boynton books are also our favorites. There is one called "A Barking and Counting Book" that involves A LOT of barking. It tickles my booboo to pieces when I make sound effects, or make any unexpected funny noises. I know this is a gender stereotype, but it seems to me that boys love roaring, crashing, barking, etc. sound effects. He might be learning the numbers too, we'll see later about that though.

Good luck, your baby sounds like a delight!
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#26 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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At that age, DS had no interest in books whatsoever. He would much rather chew on them than sit down and read them. At somewhere around 15-16 months, he all of a sudden wanted look at books together. Now at 20 months, he LOVES to read. There was nothing that I did differently, he just decided one day he liked it. Now we read together every day. He'll often flip through books on his own. When your DS is ready, he'll let you know.

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#27 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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I was lying in bed thinking about this thread this morning. I'm also having a boy so I thought, "What would I do if it turns out the same way?" Forgive me if I repeat something someone else has said...I didn't read the other replies.

Most boys are physical beings. They just have to be on the move most of the time. Also, your son could be turning into a kinetic learner (he learns by doing instead of seeing or hearing). Try activities that teach while working with the physical behavior.

Ideas I came up with:

1) Have "color days." On "RED DAY" wear red clothing items, eat something red for a snack/meal, color a red picture, go on a walk and count the red things you see (also does counting)

2) Set up a "scavenger hunt" in your home. Have clues like "Next to where the fish live (with a picture of a fish)" and encourage him to help you read each clue. End it in the kitchen with his favorite snack.

3) Draw shapes on paper and tape them to couch cushions. Time how fast he can run and touch the shape you call out. (Can also be done outside if you don't want running in the house)

4) Scatter colored items on the floor (you can just ball up colored paper). Time how fast he can bring back a certain number of each color. (5 red things, 2 blue things, etc...)

5) Go on a walk and encourage him to read signs you see (could be street signs or even the letters on license plates)

6) Find a favorite story/rhyme/etc of his. Rewrite it with some words missing. Cut out those words and put them all over the floor. Read the story together and have him run and find the word that goes in the blanks.


I didn't mean to take over. I just got excited. Good luck!

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#28 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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My DD was the same at that age. She couldn't/didn't want to sit still to read a book with me. I just tried again later. Now at 3.5 years old. She LOVES it, she is a book maniac. Also always pretends to read to her doll and her brother.

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#29 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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None of my babies like reading books. I kept them available and occasionally we would pick them up and look at a couple of pages. Usually they just wanted to chew on them or rip pages. but I don't know that I ever got through a book with them before they were two. Guess what. they are all good readers who read a variety of fiction and non-fiction.

also there is no point trying to talk about colors and stuff with a baby. they are not wired to have lessons. just work information into your play (bubba got bonked with the orange ball!!! watch out here come another orange ball and here comes a red one. BUBBA don't eat the blue ball!!!! one ball thunks bubba, two balls twack bubba, three balls hit bubba ohhhhh - disclaimer - my kids think me chucking balls at them is quite fun . . .whatever works for your kid )

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#30 of 47 Old 01-26-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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Don't worry! My son is 4 now and has an amazing vocabulary, would listen to an hour of stories every night if we had time, and is able to follow complicated books like The Hobbit...but he had almost zero interest in having books read to him until he was 18 months old.

One thing I think may be a factor in his language development is a habit his dad and I picked up by chance: When baby was just a few days old and we were very sleep-deprived, EnviroDaddy said something gloomy, and I somehow noticed that the rhythm of his speech was the same as, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands," so to cheer him up I sang his words to that tune. A little later, I happened to say something to that rhythm, and he sang it. It became something we did to amuse each other and the baby. Soon we started to hear speech that matched other tunes and sing those, too. Our son has picked up on this and now has a startling ability to make up rhyming songs and stories.

Mama to a boy EnviroKid treehugger.gif 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby baby.gif!

I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more. computergeek2.gif

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