14 Things That Happen To Every Parent When Reading To Kids

Reading to our children is immensely rewarding.
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Reading to our children is immensely rewarding. For everyone. The kids get to listen to the rhythm of words, learn new vocabulary, see how sentences are structured and simply enjoy a good story. Parents and guardians get to spend quality time with the kids, and share a little slice of wonder -- perhaps revisiting their own favourite childhood stories.

We all have our personal bedtime reading routines, but we also share many common experiences. Here are 14 things that, sooner or later, happen to anyone who reads to kids.

  1. You start off strong, with funny voices for all the characters. One of them gradually turns Australian for some reason. You roll with it.
  2. By page 4, you’re starting to get a bit mixed up about which character should have which voice. “I’m sure that mouse was more squeaky a few pages back.”
  3. By page 5, your child is correcting you. “Benny Bunny DOES NOT SPEAK LIKE THAT!”
  4. Page 7, and it’s time for “Daddy, I can’t find my [insert favourite toy]. Can we find [insert favourite toy]? I want [insert favourite toy].”
  5. Younger sibling decides that now is the time to start shouting “Baby Shark doo doo doo doo doo”. You ask them to stop and, to be fair, they do -- only to sing all 50 verses of “The Wheels on the Bus”.
  6. Meanwhile, it emerges that page 9 is slightly torn or encrusted with Weetabix. Your child needs you to fix it before progress can be made.
  7. The story is actually so compelling that you consider sneaking the book out afterwards to read ahead. 
  8. (That said, tonight you’re re-reading Princess Generic and the Inevitable Unicorn for the 18th time, which is putting you to sleep but only making your child more excitable.) 
  9. Thinks: “Hmmm, I wonder if she’s old enough for His Dark Materials yet? Totally NOT because I want to re-read it myself. Why would you think that?” 
  10. A sheet of Paw Patrol stickers falls out from page 10, half a year after it went missing.
  11. You reach the end. The tale was greatly enjoyed, but not as much as the back page, which shows the covers of other books in the series. That could keep them hooked for hours.
  12. An appeal for “More, More, More!” is put in. Denied.
  13. “Well, OK, then. So long as you promise to go to sleep quietly after I finish.”
  14. Both parties go their separate ways -- one to the Land of Nod, the other to catch up on Netflix. Both do so with a warm, fuzzy feeling that only comes from sharing a good book.

See Also

How to make a book cake for kids who enjoy reading

60 Books for children to learn about diversity

8 Reasons you’re late leaving the house again

An emoji children’s book quiz 

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