Reading to Your Child

Reading to Your Child

We all know how important stories are for child development.  But when my daughter was born with a hearing impairment, I went on a journey into reading that was more impactful that I could have imagined.

Prior to her birth, I wasn’t an avid reader.  To be honest, I may have read half a dozen books my entire life. We now value reading in our home and I’m proud to say I read around six books a year and listen to an additional six audio books a year.  I’m pretty thrilled with the change. And it is so important to me that I practice what I preach to my kids.

So why should you join me on this journey and read to your child?

1. Stories help develop a child's imagination

You can ask your child to talk about what they are seeing and thinking in response to a book, and help them understand the patterns of language.  It also helps them to learn the difference between reality and make-believe.

2. Stories help children cope with feelings

Reading and telling stories can be a safe way to explore strong emotions and understand new events.  Examples are books about going to the hospital, or dentist or starting school, and they help your child learn about the world around them.

3. Stories help children develop early literacy skills and have a lot of fun with words.

When we show our love for stories and reading we can help foster the same love in our children. This helps them in basic literacy skills and in fostering life-long reading practices.

Tips for reading and storytelling

  •   Turn off the TV or radio and find a quiet place to read so your child can hear your voice.  Read to your children every day, even for a few minutes. We find bedtime is a good time in our home.
  •   Make books part of the daily routine.
  •   Find picture books that don’t have words and make up the story together.
  •   Try a range of different books and stories, from picture to chapter, from biographies to fantasy.
  •   Take your children to the library for story telling sessions and to choose books to borrow.
  •   And if, like me, you have more than one child, make time to read to each child individually to honour their unique tastes.
  •   When your child reads out words on signs or food packets tell them you are proud of their reading. 
  • Be prepared for your child to read the same book time and time again (repetition is the key and this helps them get familiar with words and scenes in the book).

One of the best parts of  reading stories with your children is that it gives you time together, bonding and building your relationship.  Life is full of stories and so reading so reading helps foster great social communication skills for later in life.  Happy reading!

Love our vibe?

Learn about becoming a part of our tribe of Mumpreneurs… 

Trending Articles

Paleo GF Healthy Sweet Potato Brownies

These delicious moist brownies are a favourite in our house! Paleo, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. They are the only way I love my sweet potatoes after all they are meant to be sweet right?? Packed full of goodness and no nasties!! 2 medium sweet potatoes...

read more
Conversation Starters

As a parent, most of us feel as though we know our children pretty well. Their likes, dislikes and their unspoken emotions that are shown on their face and in their body language. However, as our children grow more independent of us the constant change can leave them...

read more
10 Ways to Find Peace During Chaos

At this moment many people are struggling, feeling like their world, life, and mind are in a state of flux. During a time of chaos, you often have feelings of uncertainty, fear,  insecurity, and a loss of control of the situation. But, it is crucial to keep a calm...

read more
Gratitude in a Crisis

Saying things are uncertain at the moment is a bit of an understatement, We have record unemployment, stay-at-home orders, and kids aren’t able to go to school.  Covid-19 has brought an unprecedented situation and it’s distressing on multiple levels. One of the things...

read more
Dragonfruit Popsicles

As the weather is still warm this is an easy recipe for a quick and healthy snack or dessert for the family.  You can swap dragon fruit for any other fruit of your choice  1 cup frozen dragon fruit  ½ cup coconut milk 1 banana  1 sachet vanilla complete protein powder...

read more
Rustic Autumn Vegetable Soup

This hearty delicious soup is gluten free, dairy free and so packed full of goodness! It is so versatile you can really add or leave out anything you want! We sometimes love it with cooked gluten free pasta added in too! Just find any vegetables in your fridge you...

read more
5 Steps To a Healthier You

5 Steps To a Healthier You

You don’t need to wait for a new year to focus on being a healthier version of yourself, you can make the changes to your lifestyle right now.

Here are 5 great ideas to put into practice:

1. Eat More Plant-based Meals

An initiative launched over a decade ago by Paul, Maru and Stella McCartney – Meat Free Monday encourages people to incorporate more vegetarian meals in their diet.  But this isn’t about joining a celebrity fad, plant-based meals are actually very good for you! According to Harvard University, a Mediteranean style diet that features plant foods, with only a small amount of meat per week, is associated with longer life and reduced risk of several chronic illnesses.

2. Digital Detox

Exposure to blue light (from technology) can be detrimental to sleep and also our capacity to relax and in a world where many devices are part of our daily lives.  A digital detox means you will have more time to connect with loved ones without the interruption of social media. It can also reduce stress, increase rest and help with posture issues such as “text neck”.  Create a technology-free day for yourself and your family and establish a cut-off time at night so you can unwind.

3. Move Your Body

Movement can really improve mood.  Ever woke up in a funk, or had days full of irritation and stress?  Get that body moving. Whether you hit the gym or decide to do a home workout, moving your body will boost your vibe.  Not only will you get fitter and stronger, you’ll also feel less stressed and more productive throughout the rest of your day.

4. Sleep

For us mums, it can sometimes feel like we just never get enough sleep and that there is always something to get done before we can go to bed.  But, a good night’s rest is crucial to heal and detoxify the body as sleep is when your cells replenish and your brain resets.  

According to The Sleep Health Foundation, about 40 percent of Australians don’t get adequate sleep, despite sleep being more important than diet and exercise.  

Aim to get seven to nine hours sleep a night.  Reading, listening to a night meditation, limiting screen time 30-60 minutes before bed, or drinking chamomile or peppermint tea can help prepare you for a good night’s rest.

5. SCHEDULE “ME TIME”

‘Me time’ is so important as it’s an antidote to stress.  If your ‘me time’ always gets pushed aside, schedule it in your diary and honour that commitment.  Your time could be spent by doing something as simple as enjoying a coffee in the sun, or kicking back on the couch with a good book.

Enjoy your life and live it to its fullest. Now is always the best time to start taking care of yourself!

Love our vibe?

Learn about becoming a part of our tribe of Mumpreneurs… 

Trending Articles

Paleo GF Healthy Sweet Potato Brownies

These delicious moist brownies are a favourite in our house! Paleo, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. They are the only way I love my sweet potatoes after all they are meant to be sweet right?? Packed full of goodness and no nasties!! 2 medium sweet potatoes...

read more
Conversation Starters

As a parent, most of us feel as though we know our children pretty well. Their likes, dislikes and their unspoken emotions that are shown on their face and in their body language. However, as our children grow more independent of us the constant change can leave them...

read more
10 Ways to Find Peace During Chaos

At this moment many people are struggling, feeling like their world, life, and mind are in a state of flux. During a time of chaos, you often have feelings of uncertainty, fear,  insecurity, and a loss of control of the situation. But, it is crucial to keep a calm...

read more
Gratitude in a Crisis

Saying things are uncertain at the moment is a bit of an understatement, We have record unemployment, stay-at-home orders, and kids aren’t able to go to school.  Covid-19 has brought an unprecedented situation and it’s distressing on multiple levels. One of the things...

read more
Dragonfruit Popsicles

As the weather is still warm this is an easy recipe for a quick and healthy snack or dessert for the family.  You can swap dragon fruit for any other fruit of your choice  1 cup frozen dragon fruit  ½ cup coconut milk 1 banana  1 sachet vanilla complete protein powder...

read more
Rustic Autumn Vegetable Soup

This hearty delicious soup is gluten free, dairy free and so packed full of goodness! It is so versatile you can really add or leave out anything you want! We sometimes love it with cooked gluten free pasta added in too! Just find any vegetables in your fridge you...

read more
Pause that Perfection

Pause that Perfection

Think your child needs a perfect parent? Think again.

Kids need  so many things in order to grow, but a perfect parent isn’t one of them.  In fact, a quest to be perfect can often have the opposite effect. So much of parenting is modelling, and we need to show our kids what unconditional love looks like – in our relationships with them, but also in our relationship with ourselves.

Instead of focusing on perfection, we need to turn to striving for love.  No adult looks back on their childhood wishing their mum had spent more time designing professional level cupcakes and ensuring there were rooms filled with matching pillow shams.  What we want to look back on, is a home full of love.

So, once we accept there is no perfect parent, no perfect child, and definitely no perfect family, we can focus on the important thing.  Love. Each family unit is unique in its own way, and love is all that matters.

Here are 6 areas you can work on in order to be a ‘good enough’ parent – a loving parent.

1. Let Go

Try to let go of all the ways you need to be different before you are good enough in your own eyes.  That voice inside that says ‘I should be a little thinner, a little nicer, a better mother or father.  I am such an idiot, I am so dumb, I should have known better’ is of no use to you. Kick it to the curb.

Work on loving yourself unconditionally.  That means with no conditions, as in you love yourself exactly as you are, faults and all.  But how, you say?  

Sometimes if you are healing from damaging relationships or a difficult childhood, counselling is a good option. But we can all practice self-love through focusing on our strengths, not our weaknesses.  And by looking at any issues as opportunities to grow, rather than as fatal flaws.

2. Forgive Yourself

You made a mistake.  That’s not because you stopped striving for perfection, it’s because you’re human.  We all make them, all the time. Really.  

Can you still have a happy responsible fabulous life and be a good parent? 

YES! The key is to forgive yourself, so you can accept your imperfections graciously.  That makes it easier to admit when you mess up and to make amends.  

It’s hard to be compassionate to your child when you’re beating yourself up inside.  Just commit to doing better and take a step in the right direction.  

A forgiveness practice can heal that tendency and increase our compassion for ourselves.  Every religion and wisdom tradition has one. My personal favourite is the Hawaiian (Ho’oponopono) prayer: “I’m sorry…Please forgive me…I love you…Thankyou”

Find a prayer or phrase that works for you as a first step to forgiveness. It is actually harder to forgive ourselves than anyone else, and we all need practice.  Try speaking it (in your mind) even if you aren’t quite sure what you are asking forgiveness for. Just forgive it all!! See it as repairing any damage. Speaking from experience, using this little mantra for a few minutes daily is very powerful.

3. Choose Love

Every choice is between love and fear.  Choose love as often as you can. If you pay attention you’ll notice the constant questioning… should I have said no, should I have been so harsh on him, should I have given him more freedom, should I have stopped cleaning to play a game with my child, should I have left the dishes and gone and had a pillow fight?

Your life is a sum of your choices, you’ll make bad ones, we all do, but those mistakes have already been made and we have a chance to make better, more loving ones each day we are awake to our habits. You can turn the love ratio around, so start today and make a new future by choosing love.

4. Lead with the Heart

The only way to stop the vicious cycle of negative thoughts is to shift out of those thoughts and onto something positive.

Next time you notice a negative thought about yourself, try to Stop, Drop (the thought) and Breathe.  That deep breath unplugs you from the tape loop in your thoughts. Now you have a choice to change those thoughts.  Put your hand on your heart and breathe love into your heart. Use a saying if it helps, something like “I am more than enough, exactly as I am” “I am not my thoughts” Consciously choose to feel love and watch your whole sense of well-being shift.

5. Take Responsibility

This comes back to parenting as modelling.  It’s important to take responsibility for any mistakes you have made or problems you’ve created.  When you take responsibility and own your mistakes, your child will too.  

Focus on solving the problem you have created, not on blame, shame and guilt.  When you can forgive yourself, you’ll find a way to repair any rifts with your child and strengthen your relationship.  When you acknowledge you messed up, apologise, and work to repair the issue, you are being an incredible role model and your child will learn some important life lessons.

6. Appreciation

Appreciation and gratitude interrupt negative thoughts and give you access to more love.

Practice showing your appreciation daily.  Maybe you can share at the dinner table what you appreciate or are grateful for in each of your children, or you could write your gratitude at the end of each day in a journal, or it can be as simple as changing your thoughts.  In a moment where you notice you are criticizing yourself , change gears and find something to appreciate.

If it’s challenging to find something to appreciate, start with “Even though…” 

For example:

  • “Even though I was cranky this morning, I changed my state by putting on some music.” 
  • “Even though I sometimes lose my temper, more and more I am patient with my child.” 
  • “Even though I get annoyed with my lack of commitment, I am aware and becoming more disciplined.”
  • “Even though I’m tired at the end of the day I’m so grateful I have my kids, my home, my health, a bed to sleep in and a fresh start tomorrow.”

The goal is expanding your heart and sharing more love in the world.  If you fill yourself with love, it will automatically overflow to everyone around you.  

Go ahead.  Nurture yourself with infinite tenderness. Let your heart stretch past it’s boundaries.  There is nothing you need to change or do to deserve love. You’re already more than enough.  Use these practices daily and you’ll notice that you’re healing your ability to love unconditionally.  Watch your life and your parenting transform!

From one mum to another, there is no love like a mother’s love!

Love our vibe?

Learn about becoming a part of our tribe of Mumpreneurs… 

Trending Articles

Paleo GF Healthy Sweet Potato Brownies

These delicious moist brownies are a favourite in our house! Paleo, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. They are the only way I love my sweet potatoes after all they are meant to be sweet right?? Packed full of goodness and no nasties!! 2 medium sweet potatoes...

read more
Conversation Starters

As a parent, most of us feel as though we know our children pretty well. Their likes, dislikes and their unspoken emotions that are shown on their face and in their body language. However, as our children grow more independent of us the constant change can leave them...

read more
10 Ways to Find Peace During Chaos

At this moment many people are struggling, feeling like their world, life, and mind are in a state of flux. During a time of chaos, you often have feelings of uncertainty, fear,  insecurity, and a loss of control of the situation. But, it is crucial to keep a calm...

read more
Gratitude in a Crisis

Saying things are uncertain at the moment is a bit of an understatement, We have record unemployment, stay-at-home orders, and kids aren’t able to go to school.  Covid-19 has brought an unprecedented situation and it’s distressing on multiple levels. One of the things...

read more
Dragonfruit Popsicles

As the weather is still warm this is an easy recipe for a quick and healthy snack or dessert for the family.  You can swap dragon fruit for any other fruit of your choice  1 cup frozen dragon fruit  ½ cup coconut milk 1 banana  1 sachet vanilla complete protein powder...

read more
Rustic Autumn Vegetable Soup

This hearty delicious soup is gluten free, dairy free and so packed full of goodness! It is so versatile you can really add or leave out anything you want! We sometimes love it with cooked gluten free pasta added in too! Just find any vegetables in your fridge you...

read more