This week's podcast focused on reading and storytelling. Reading to a young child, and with a young child, should be about building the brain, stretching the imagination and relationship building between parent and child. We should be reading stories that speak to their interests, where they are developmentally, and helps them take on another person's perspective and learn about a life, and world, outside their own.
Our society focuses so much on "early literacy", and teaching a child to read independently, that they miss the value in reading for enjoyment and character development. Reading stories from a variety of perspectives sends the message to the child, "There are lives and worlds that are different than your's" and helps develop empathy and connection to others.
Albert Einstein said, "If you want your child to be brilliant, read them fairy tales. If you want your child to be more brilliant, read them more fairy tales".
Fairy tales, as just one example of a strong selection, are filled with rich, descriptive language, a clear plot with rise and fall of action, and characters with depth and purpose. The best fairy tales transport us to another world and leave us pondering an alternative ending, a moral lesson, or evaluating current happenings in our own life.
Don't shy away from reading lengthy, descriptive books and stories to an infant or young toddler! They love to hear your voice and there's value in sitting in close proximity to a loving caregiver experiencing the words and feelings along with you. In fact, young children don't require pictures. Imagine reading an image-less "Little Red Riding Hood" to a three-year-old and allowing them to create their own image of Red and the wolf.
Books, and stories, have a nostalgic quality to them. There are classic books shared from generation to generation that have their own rhythm and place in the child's life year round, but then there are those special books read seasonally that show the child change is occurring in the world, but we've been here before. The changing of the leaves is often felt before it is seen. Reading "Pippa and Pelle and the Autumn Winds" each year may bring a sense of calm to a child who feels the change, but it's too abstract a concept to fully comprehend without a story to relate to.
What to avoid:
Just like each season we decorate the house, create our nature tables, and cook seasonal foods, our book collection should change as well! Seasonal books excite the child year after year as they make an appearance back on the shelves.
I've created a list of books we love on a members protected page and added a few fun projects to coincide with some of the stories. It's easy to join Whole Heart and access member's only content by clicking "Join the Tribe" on the home page. That minimal membership fee is less than a few trips to Starbucks each month and provides the resources and support you need to be the best parent you can be to your child.
Thank you for your support! Be well,
Parenting expert, blogger, inventor, single mom to twins, barefoot nomad, adventure seeker, boho spirit, advocate of play