What do you do when your children become too old to sit on your lap?
Recently I have noticed a great deal on social media about reading to children with some fabulous quotes and photos such as ‘Children are made readers in the laps of their parents’ or ‘There is no app to replace your lap. Read to your child.’ However, what do you do when your child no longer fits on your lap, or wants to sit on your lap?
When your child is young you spend many hours reading to them, then teaching them to read, and then comes that wonderful day when you find them reading to themselves and you are thrilled. But, as happened to me, I found my daughter happy to read on her own and my services became redundant. I began to miss that special time of enjoying stories together and wished I could go back to that snuggly time.
However, a few months ago I bought a book that I said was for my daughter to read, but in reality it was a masquerade as I wanted to read the book myself. So, upon receipt of the book I told my daughter this was a book I thought we could read together. She looked a bit baffled but decided to go along with it. Together we learnt about different Philosophers and discussed big topics such as ‘Shouldn’t men and women be equal?’, ‘Who says what’s right or wrong?’, ‘ Do we need rules?’ ‘ Are all animals equal?’. Some nights my daughter would read to me whilst I cooked, other nights we would snuggle up on the sofa and I would read to her. Not every night, I should add, homework and chores seem to get in the way, but there is always a book that we are sharing together.
On occasion we do not read a book together but there are books that we recommend to each other and discuss the parts we enjoyed and what we felt about the characters. A friend of mine reads classics to her children such as the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, also an excellent idea as these stories should be read and re-read.
What I have found with this shared reading is that it has been wonderful to be able to discuss the story or topic with my daughter and get her views. It has also been very educational for me learning or re-learning things or discovering amazing children’s literature that is very poignant and thought provoking. And in all honesty some books are so much more fascinating than adult fiction
So she may be too big for my lap now, but we have found a way to still share some wonderful books together.