As parents, we stress over our child’s ability to read. We follow their progress, encouraging them when they stumble and reveling in their successes. Instilling the love of reading within your children also presents an opportunity to challenge yourself.
A personal challenge doesn’t always have to be a monumental task, like finishing a marathon or securing a paid writing gig. Challenges are meant to push you a little, learn new things and perhaps discover a hidden talent. Some challenges are about re-establishing simple yet important tasks we take for granted.
Your challenge, should you choose to take it, is simple. Grab twenty-minutes, fill a glass with a little something, and find a cozy corner to enjoy a read. That’s it.
Sounds easy enough. Unlike you’re budding reader, the actual reading part probably isn’t much of a challenge, but making the time can be. So often we relegate our reading skills to tasks: following a recipe, checking our email, even reading the paper for sales or sports scores. But reading is so much more than that. Reading is a pleasure, an escape, a lesson.
Reading for pleasure is deemed a luxury, something to do if time allows, and as a parent you know there’s always something filling your time. It seems selfish to sit and read the romance novel or mystery book when there’s laundry that needs to be put away or projects to be completed. But just like we tell our kids, reading improves our knowledge, it grows our vocabulary, and it renews our soul. These don’t sound like frivolous reasons to challenge yourself to read.
At first it may be hard. You may find yourself watching the clock and cutting your time short as you worry about everything else that needs to be done. Try setting a timer and not moving from your spot until it goes off. Try to forget about your To Do list and give in to the world buried within the pages before you. The laundry and dishes can wait. Stop putting yourself at the bottom of your To Do list.
Challenging yourself to sit and enjoy a book for the pure pleasure of reading benefits you and the budding reader in your home. Live by example for your children and read for the love of it and someday they will too. Isn’t that a challenge worth taking?