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As your kids start to read on their own, you should read as well. Make it reading time for everyone.
While your child is still young, and hasn’t learned to read yet, you should absolutely be reading to them on a regular basis. As you do so and as they continue to grow, they will eventually learn to read words in books, and ultimately learn to read on their own. It’s quite exciting when your child reads their first words and sentences.
To get to the point of your child reading on their own is going to take a few years though. It takes a lot of time for you reading to them, and then sitting with them and helping them to read as well. You’ll help them to sound the words out, and to understand what they’re reading.
Once your child does begin to read on their own, you’re going to have some free time that you were previously using to read to your kids. While you can use this time for whatever you want, it is best used for you to read something that you want to read. Grab your Kindle, sit with your child, and read whatever book you are reading at the moment.
While finding time to read as a parent can be difficult, that’s not the primary reason that you should be reading during the time that your child is reading. There are two other reasons that are more important to read while your child is reading.
First, you want to set an example for your child that reading is important. If you’re reading while your child is reading, they will see that you value reading highly - you’re doing it with them, and still doing it even though you no longer have to read to them. Make sure you let them know that you’re going to read a book that you enjoy while they read their book.
Secondly, you don’t want your child to resent having to read if you’re off doing something that might be perceived as more fun. If you’re sitting and looking at your phone, watching videos, or playing games, your child may begin to feel that reading is something they have to do, and it’s not really fun. They’re also going to not focus on actually reading, but rather counting down the minutes until it’s done.
If you need to do something else while your child is reading, that’s fine, just make sure it’s truly important. If you’re preparing a meal or cleaning up the house, then your child probably won’t feel as bad that they have to miss out on that. By doing something that isn’t as fun, you’ll at least get something productive done, and you can relax in a different way later if you’d prefer.
Make reading time all about reading, both for you and your child. Reading something that you want to while your child is reading will help them to see the value of reading far more than if you’re doing something else during that time.