I think as a parent you’ve probably heard that you should read to your children. It’s pretty common advice and you may even have read some of the reasons why it’s good, studies that have been done about it and even book lists of recommended stories to read to children. I really appreciate advice like this. But one thing we’re often not advised on is HOW to read to children.
When reading to my three year old sometimes it is hard to get past one page. He has a commentary or question about everything. I used to get frustrated and shush him so I could keep reading and finish the story. Until I read Bev Bos’ recommendations about Valuing Interruptions. This is what she has to say about reading in particular,
“The object isn’t the story itself: it’s the child’s response to the story- especially a verbalized response – that we should be after most of the time.”
When asked what do when children interrupt, Bev Bos says, “My answer is that if the interruption doesn’t happen, it is very likely that learning isn’t happening. We need to translate interruption as the child’s entering the process. If we genuinely believe language development is at the heart of the learning process, then we must allow time. Not only allowing for, but planning for interruptions is our whole purpose.”
So next time you’re reading to your child and he interrupts – you can smile knowing that he’s learning, he’s entering the process and sharing in the experience of the story with you.