The difference in my parenting style from my first child to the middle child to my last can be described as ridiculous at best. I remember when Ben was in kindergarten and how stressful and painful and awful it was to listen to him read the four page paper books and wondering how is my adorable child so behind? Will he ever read? Is it possible all of my children will be dumb?
Of course, I never said this out loud…but the silent fear was there….and I think every parent will tell you that the number one battle is worry. On the scale of worriers of the world, I’m probably not going to tip it to the extreme. But there are the little things that nag……and then Alex somehow taught himself to read. Probably because he is the most determined of the three. That can be good and also pretty awful at times.
And then comes along your last born child and one day she brings home a book and starts reading it to you. And, wait what? When did you learn to read! Like real reading. Like words beyond I, am, and, and the. Like you haven’t just memorized the story, you are actually sounding out words and, yes, reading! I give the credit to her teacher…..way to go! Because other than reading books to her, I don’t have all the random things in my house labeled (chair, door, red, blue, stairs, window) like I did with Ben. And I certainly didn’t sit with her and have her sound out words like I did with Alex.
Now all of my children can read! It’s such a fun milestone to reach. I wasn’t sure anything would ever trump potty training but this one has such a great feeling…a feeling of , hey! my offspring may very well survive in this world!
Ben stays up late (probably too late) reading almost every night. Alex prefers that I read to him but is getting to the point that he’s curious enough to read to himself if I say no….And then Emily. Yes she can finally read! And she does it with flair. Because of course she does.
So if you’re a parent who has a child that you think will never ever read. Don’t worry. Keep reading to them. Read yourself–if they see you reading, that is the best way to show that reading is fun. And know, that whether they are 5, 6 or 8…or even older–let go of the worry–it will happen. And that’s good advice for any stage in your child’s life…remember that…talking to myself here.