Books, Kids

Dads Helping Young Readers (Especially Boys!)

October 7, 2012

Exposing Jose: Part of his bookshelf

Hello everyone! Sorry for not signing off on Friday! But I am here on a late Sunday night and wanted to share a few things I observed this weekend.

Friday is library day for the kindergarteners and Diego came home with three very interesting titles this week: Cool Baseball Facts (Pebble Plus: Cool Sports Facts), The Best Book of Fossils, Rocks, and Minerals, and Christopher Columbus (First Biographies). Not that I wouldn’t help him read and discuss ANY of these books, but I thought Jose could do a better job at these than me.

I realized how nice it is that Jose is an avid reader in our home and that the three boys have a male role model to show that reading isn’t “just for girls” (I cringe and feel faint when I hear or see those words in print). I have also been really busy around here and have had less and less time to read to all three boys. Jose is just as qualified!

Here are my top five reasons on why I feel it is so important for dads to influence reading at home. This is particularly significant if there are boys in the family. Boys tend to be more reluctant to read for fun than girls…but what is written below can apply to mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, or fathers and daughters.

1. Sharing common interests: What do dads and boys have in common? LOTS of things. Apparently, Jose knows a few things about rocks and minerals and Diego loves to roll around in mud. Boys should be allowed to read anything they find interesting. Comic books, the funnies in the newspaper, or something from the current New York Times best seller list is fantastic. If boys feel they can relate to what they are reading and share that with their fathers, they will read with a different enthusiasm.

2. Bonding: With all this sharing of the common interests brings a different kind of bonding between father and son. There is nothing sweeter than watching men and their children bond over a good book, magazine or newspaper article. Time spent together away from the “manly” activities show boys that reading is fun too. It is important to find quiet time with dad after that crazy football game on TV! And it is particularly amusing for me to watch their excitement when Hala Madrid Magazine arrives in the mail.

3. Conversation starters: Jose and Diego had a great time reading the baseball book this weekend. Diego has a few baseball books but they found new facts in this one, they shared stories about baseball games attended and Jose filled Diego in on what is happening in MLB right now. Parents need to discuss books with their children to notice their comprehension level as well. Many kids can read but not many can understand. Talking to our kids about books not only can open a door for life-long conversation with our children but can also help us spot “red flags” if there is a problem with reading.

4. Teachable moments: Jose felt that he was able to bring up other facts and stories that these three books did not point out. Many books help us continue to teach our children interesting facts, valuable lessons or share stories about our own experiences that books help us remember. Every time we want to reinforce something we feel passionate about or something we want the boys to really understand, we find a book (usually a picture book) that help us teach them.

5. Modeling: They say if you want your child to have proper table manners you must model that typical behavior. The same with reading at home. Parents (especially dads) have to make time to show that they enjoy reading books, magazines, newspapers, and even reading tablets. Another tip: place books in every room. Children will find them and you will find your children engaged.

Have a great week everyone and please ask away or share your story in the comments below! What do your boys like to read?

Your friend,

Betty

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