Breast Cancer. The unthinkable has happened. You want to scream, cry and prey that the doctor was wrong. But before the shock, sadness and anger has even a chance to register, your mind has already gone somewhere else: what are you going to tell your children? Let’s face it, we don’t want to hurt or upset our loved ones. Breaking the news about a breast cancer diagnosis may be more difficult than actually hearing the news from your doctor. You may feel concerned about upsetting your family and friends and worried about how they will react. Even worse, you may be afraid that you won’t be able to answer their questions.
Convincing your kids to start enjoying reading books is an extremely important thing to do as a parent. Sometime in the future, it will be worth the investment of time and energy. Reading is learned in school however most kids associate this endeavor with something that it work-related, and not with something done for pleasure. Consequently, their desire to read is lost; and that’s exactly what should entice them – the interest and curiosity to see what books have to offer.
1. Read books to your kids out loud
One of the most productive and efficient ways of encouraging kids to start loving books is to read them stories out loud. The sooner you start the better. Make reading a special time spent together on a daily or weekly basis, and share the pleasures of unfolding the mysteries of a good story. A well-written book for kids can be an incredible delight, and with a bit of luck you might even have a bookworm child.
2. Allow kids to choose
Convince your kids to start reading by offering them books they can understand. This way, if they enjoy it they will ask for another one. It’s important to allow toddlers to choose; this creates excitement and motivation. Comics, vampires sagas, sports books are all excellent choices. And since technology prevails, allow them to use an e-book or tablet to read. Colorful images help boost the experience and thus make them enjoy the story a whole lot more.
3. Set up a book nook
Have you ever thought of setting up a book nook for your child? Organize it properly to entice the senses of your little one. Colorful cushions placed on a comfortable sofa with underneath open shelves for book storage is an excellent idea. Use your imagination with these storage spaces and fill it with new books weekly. Don’t forget to include proper lighting; it would be great if you could arrange the book nook by a window.
4. Be a role model
When they’re little, kids like to imitate their parents in their daily chores. If your child sees that you prefer to read a good book before bedtime rather than watch TV, they will become curious. Have the patience to answer all their questions and you might convince them that reading is fun and interesting. Encourage them to choose a book and start reading, too. Make this activity a 1-hour reading session before bedtime, and in a few months the results will be amazing.
5. Make reading fun
Don’t force your kids to read whole books, and start slow. Begin with short stories, use book charts to explain ideas or paragraphs they haven’t understood in the first place, and have enough patience to explain words and phrases that seem challenging to grasp. Use post-its for challenging words and stick them to the fridge; this way your child will also learn new words daily.
6. Use technology to draw attention
Today’s kids are part of the new generation. They’re not used to actual books; their school notebooks are either a tablet or a laptop, and as soon as they get home, they see parents using some sort of smart device too. Rather than ban technology, you should embrace it. Kindles, nooks and other ebooks are great devices. Allow children to use them to read stories and they might develop a passion for reading as an activity. As they grow older, they might even end up appreciating real books too.
There are numerous other tricks parents can use to convince their kids to read. It’s all about making this activity seem fun and engaging. Don’t force a child to read a book because he will grow up thinking you’re punishing him for something. Make this whole endeavor seem fun; the safest way to do this is to select great books and stories. Start reading out loud and really dive into the subject. A cool trick to preserve the engagement is to stop reading right when things get interesting. This way, your toddler will want to know more. He will be curious and he will impatiently wait another day for you to finish the story, and start a new one.
There has been a lot of crappy sadness in the news this week, month and year. It’s no secret that our children are directly or indirectly exposed to and aware of life’s most difficult occurrences, and in their true curious nature, they may have questions.
Whether your child has observed a loss or dealt with one of their own (death, divorce, moving away, deployment, etc.), helping them understand it all can be challenging. Tiffany Papageorge, sought-after speaker and author, addresses this difficult topic with her inspirational new picture book, My Yellow Balloon.
Breathtakingly illustrated by a Dreamworks artist, My Yellow Balloon tells the simple, powerful, and heartfelt story of a young boy who gets a yellow balloon while visiting a fair with his parents. He loves the balloon dearly until it accidentally slips from his hands. Without his yellow balloon, all of the color drains from the boy’s world, until one day when the boy sees the yellow balloon reflected in the sun and knows it will always be with him, even if it’s not in his hands anymore.
Providing comfort and clarity, My Yellow Balloon can help parents begin a difficult conversation with their children. Loss is very real, but doesn’t have to be so scary.
We also have a few pieces on helping kids deal with grief. Hug them tight.
Have you ever thought about how much sugar you consume and it’s affects on not only you, but your family?
Have you noticed that eating sugar with every meal has become the norm and that we live in a time where there is an abundance of food and yet our children are more undernourished than ever before?
Have you considered that there could be a link between high sugar foods and heart disease, obesity, stroke, diabetes, cancer and increased behaviour and emotional issues that could be associated with the enormous rise of children being diagnosed with ADHD?
Top 12 Summer Reads for Kids Under 6
On those lazy days at the beach, what better way do you have to connect with your children than through learning fun. When you’re not writing letters in the sand and counting incoming waves, lay down under an umbrella and jump into one of these stories. Here are our picks for the under-six set. (Just don’t get so involved you forget to reapply the sunscreen).
1. Here Comes Hortense, by Heather Hartt-Sussman
2. Boo: The Life of the World’s Cutest Dog, by J.H. Lee
3. E- Mergency! by Tom Lichtenheld and Ezra Fields-Meyer
4. Rokko by Paola Opal
5. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems
6. The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
7. Mother Goose, ed. Iona Opie
8. Alice in Wonderland, (Disney Edition)
9. Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
10. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
11. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
12. Corduroy, by Don Freeman
Available at Chapters/Indigo.
Reading to your babies and kids is one of those important things like brushing teeth and eating veggies that can sometimes slip by the wayside (or can give your mother-in-law fodder for more unwanted advice). UrbanMommies loves books (make sure you check our Get Reading section regularly), so we asked a child reading specialist for some helpful tips on making sure your kids are well versed (so to speak) in reading.
Press Here, by Herve Tullet
We read this with the kids and were commanded to not turn another page while they ran to the potty. Interactive, exciting, and educational, ‘Press Here’ helps kids review colours, counting and actions in a super-fun way. The kids are asked to press, rub, and shake the book to ‘move’ the dots. What a way to develop a love of reading!
The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 classics you need to read in your lifetime. How do your reading habits stack up? Note… when you’re travelling is a great time to crack open one of these tomes and start ticking off these 100 classics. Feel free to comment on this article and add some of your own selections.
1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma-Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
This book is a friendly, funny question-and-answer format compares people to animals. The perfect vehicle for introducing children to experiences they will soon encounter in real life. All animals have daddies, but not all animals need their daddies after birth. This book tells you about animals who don’t need parents after birth and those who do.