Audiobooks - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-13-2012, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there, 


my twice exceptional DD1 (ADHD and gifted) loves audiobooks. We go to the library every couple of weeks and get 20 of them (maximum allowed) and mostly ones that play over a couple of hours. 


DD1 loooves listening to them. Her verbal abilities are especially gifted. Now my question: How much is too much? At the moment if I don't stop her she would be listening for three - four hours a day. Coloring while she doing it or playing with little things or lying on her bed. 


That is so very unlike her that it is frightening me sometimes. On the other hand, I do feel a bit stupid complaining about my bubbly one, cause she is quietly sitting in her room, kwm? 


At the moment I do stop her after a hour. But sometimes I feel stupid doing so. Her psychologist says she needs it to wind down, and I appreciate that, Ijust feel that she is so "away" while doing it. 


How much is too much? 


By the way. She does not read fluently yet, due to her visual problems, but we do practice every day. 

Trin with DH , DD(7)  and DS(5) ,  DD(2) ,
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#2 of 6 Old 10-14-2012, 08:56 AM
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Never experienced anything like that with audiobooks, but my eldest dd went through a phase at age 5.5 to 6.5 where she would spend hours a day reading, which I think would raise the same sort of concerns. Your comment that if you put no limits she would be listening for three or four hours a day made me laugh, because my dd was reading for up to 12 to 14 hours a day (on average at least 6-8) and I didn't impose limits. On the really heavy days her reading tended to squeeze out opportunities for physical and social activities, so I did gently redirect her so that she got some of those things every day. But I decided if she was doing that much of it, it must be serving some vital purpose for her, and so long as her general demeanour was fine, so long as she seemed happy and behaved decently, so long as she was tending to physical, social and health needs, it was fine. Numerous hours a day was the norm.


After a year or so, things tapered back to a mere 3-4 hours a day. The novelty of novels no longer shone quite so bright. She is now 18, and is incredibly talented at anything involving writing and literary analysis. She had a childhood rich in imagination and fallow time and was able to discover her passions and broaden her horizons. Her vocabulary, understanding of grammar, and knowledge about the world present and past, were all vastly increased by all that reading.


I don't know the answer to your "how much is too much" question but for my child and my family 3-4 hours would have been nowhere near too much. If your dd goes to school, or watches TV, the time she has available for physical and social pursuits may also be limited by those things, and your balance may need to be different than ours was.


ETA: I have always read aloud to my children for 45 minutes to an hour a day. That's in addition to whatever audiobooks and independent reading they're doing. Really, I think an hour a day is almost nothing.



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#3 of 6 Old 10-15-2012, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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thank you Miranda, that really gave me perspective :) 


And I do think it is comparable, since DD1 is not really reading on her own yet, because of her eyes. or whatever. I mean, she is the first reader in her class. we start late here ;) 


We don't have a tv so she is only watching one dvd per week, as a family with popcorn :) - and she goes to school and to childcare afterwards, so that does not leave too much time listening. And I always asked myself if I would set a time limit if she would be reading instead of listening. 


And - I used to read that much, I love(d) reading! I would always read. I am never bored if I have a book. Traveling doesn't bother me. Just give me a book. I was ridiculed because of it by my parents though (not normal, strange kid, go outside, cannot be healthy ...) 


I'll just let her listen. 

Trin with DH , DD(7)  and DS(5) ,  DD(2) ,
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#4 of 6 Old 10-15-2012, 05:57 PM
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I think too that it's less of a concern since she is often playing/drawing/etc. while she is listening. That's not really all that different than listening to music (or talk radio etc.) while doing household tasks. I don't particularly see anything wrong with it.

I have a 3.5 year old who is OBSESSED with audio... music especially, but audiobooks too. He does spend hours listening, and not doing much else, although it's part of his play I guess (he often pretends to be a musician...) He also asks me to read to him non-stop... again, hours a day, while he just sits listening.

I go back & forth with how "OK" it feels to me. Because he is often so sedentary & doing so little else while listening, I sometimes get worried about his overall health & development. But at the same time, he is advanced in many areas (both physically & cognitively) so somehow he is doing what he needs to do, I guess. He learns from it. And it makes him so happy. But it is such an obsession with him, to the exclusion of other things. I'm torn!! I guess I share this more to highlight how this could be concerning, but in your situation seems fine to me. smile.gif

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#5 of 6 Old 10-16-2012, 06:26 PM
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My kid with vision issues did this for years.  Hours a day.  He now reads lots.  And he still does things intensely, too.  

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#6 of 6 Old 10-16-2012, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Triniity View Post

That is so very unlike her that it is frightening me sometimes. On the other hand, I do feel a bit stupid complaining about my bubbly one, cause she is quietly sitting in her room, kwm? 



I was waiting for someone else to say it but anyway....maybe this IS also her? When I first read your post I was thinking it didn't sound like ADHD at all to me, more like vision issues resulting in behaviour that looks like ADHD. Just a thought eh? I have no experience with ADHD, but I have a child with vision issues. The first time anyone said he had short attention span was when he went to nursery school and I was totally taken aback because that was not what I see at home. In hindsight, it was because he picked his own activities at home and they all avoided his vision issues.  He has sensory issues that acts up in a crowded environment, but left alone at home, he is totally quiet and occupies himself. Now he reads for hours as well.


My ds2 who cannot yet read, and SEEMS much more distractible - audiobooks used to be the only thing that kept him quietly occupied while he drew or just lie in the bed. It took me a while to realise that he is uneasy with silence (the total opposite of ds1, haha). He does not like to be alone, and as long as someone is checking in on him regularly, he can do it for hours e.g painting. I have since found that even a soft music track in the background makes him feel more at ease and he doesn't bounce around quite as much.

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