Twilight Time: Reading With Kids

A little big for my lap, but never too old!!

My big boy comes home today!! We have missed him so much.

When I wrote about reading more last month a few of you suggested that you schedule reading times WITH your older kids where you both read your own books. I thought this was a genius idea!! A win-win for new readers and old readers alike.

Bedtime Lasts Forever

Bedtime in our house is always quite the process. We first get Birch to sleep (after bath, nursing, stories, songs) and then we work on Mazen. He has always been a “give an inch take a mile” kinda boy, so bedtime can sometimes take a loooong time. “One more book. Scratch my back. I need water. I need a snack. Another book please. One more kiss.” It’s a sweet time of day, so I think that’s why so many parents have trouble with the final kiss goodnight. Mazen has also never loved settling down to sleep, and I think that’s because he really doesn’t like being alone! (I’m realizing this is a big difference between Mazen and Birch’s personalities – extravert v. introvert? But that’s for another post!)

Twilight Time

While I obviously love spending time with my child, by bedtime I’m also looking forward to some end-of-the-day relaxing. Twilight Time is the solution. After I read one book to Mazen, he picks another book to read on his own and I start reading my Kindle. We brainstormed names together and came up with Twilight Time. We read next to one another for about 10 minutes and then I say goodnight.

Twilight Time is magical for several reasons:

  1. We are still together but quiet
  2. It helps M settle down (instead of wanting tickle fights)
  3. I get to start my adult time but still keep him company
  4. I’m modeling good reading behavior and he’s practicing his own reading

New Things Take Time

My spirited child does not like changes to routine, so I know I’m going to have to be consistent with this to make it a habit for us both. My hope is that we both get better at reading and bedtime has an easier transition to a hard end point. We’ve only done it a handful of times, but I’m looking forward to more. I wanted to start this habit at bedtime because it’s a natural fit for solo reading, but I hope eventually we can sit side by side on the couch during the day and read too.

What reading habits have you guys encouraged for your kids?