Read a good book lately-with your grandchildren?
The rewards for both of you are immeasurable. I can think of five right off the bat.
- Reading brings you into close proximity to your young child. You can watch TV from opposite sides of the room. Not so with reading. You share the same book. You look at the pictures together. I believe that’s why God gave us laps.
- Reading encourages you to be interesting. If you read in a monotone, your child will go to sleep. But with something like Dr. Seuss or Berenstain Bears, it’s nearly impossible to read without changing your voice for different characters, acting scared or surprised, and involving yourself in the story line. Exploring different emotions with your grandchild helps him to be honest about his feelings with you.
- Reading together gives you a chance to observe and enjoy your grandchildren. Out of the corner of my eye, I love to watch Micah react to a story. He thinks. He wonders. He worries. He smiles. Knowing how your grandchildren react to stories will help you communicate the important stuff you want them to learn from you.
- During the story you can ask questions, like “What does that mean?” “Why do you think he did that?” or “What do you think you would have done?” That way you can learn more about your grandchild teach him your values and monitor his level of understanding and mental maturity.
- As your grandchildren grow, you experience the immense satisfaction of learning from each other. On more than one occasion, I have had the distinct experience of a grandchild asking me to pause for a moment to share some detail they have learned that I truly wasn’t aware of. This kind of interaction goes a long way towards helping both of us grow together.