How to Stay Connected to Your Kids as They Grow Up

“Mom, pleeaasse read just one more chapter! Com’on, please,” I begged. And Mom would usually smile and read ten—or twenty minutes longer.

One of the most treasured and important memories from my childhood is my Mom reading to my siblings and me after lunch. Everyday I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next to my favorite character, while I’d be transported to another time or place by the power of Mom’s voice, as it became that character. When the chapter or time was up for the day, my siblings and I would often beg for more.

We read the childhood classics. The Little House books were a family staple, and the Secret Garden was my first gothic suspense novel. Cheaper by the Dozen had us laughing until our sides ached, and The Yearling—with its lush descriptions and heart-wrenching story—made us cry. These books were dubbed “family books,” and we continued to read aloud together even long after I was old enough to read on my own. Mom believed it was important to experience different language styles, even if it sometimes was a little challenging to comprehend. The power of the audible voice captured any wanderings of my mind, making the stories dance off the page and into my imagination.

The benefits from those cozy days curled up on the couch did not just result in better reading skills, lively imaginations, and a love literature and art. It also resulted in connected relationships.

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