Pa­tience and per­sis­tence key in read­ing to a tot

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE - Email ques­tions to aboutababy@ townsvillebulletin. com. au. Ni­cole Pierotti is a child psy­chol­o­gist who is an ex­pert in help­ing solve sleep prob­lems. Call 4724 2600 or go to babysmiles. com. au

ANY hints on how to read to an 18- month- old? She doesn’t seem in­ter­ested nd just chews on the pages. m not sure if she is too young r it’s do­ing much good. hould I just leave it un­til he’s older? Bree, Al­li­ga­tor reek T is cer­tainly never too young to start to read to ba­bies or oddlers. A lot of times how­ever ou find that their at­ten­tion span very short and that they do not t still long enough to read a ook, es­pe­cially when you are first start­ing out. There are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ways to de­velop this con­cen­tra­tion. Firstly you need to find a time of day where you find that your tod­dler is less wig­gly; a good place to start is as part of her bed­time rou­tine. So for both lunch time and night time sleep­ing, add a book into her rou­tine.

Make sure the books are card­board at the start, as yes it is typ­i­cal for tod­dlers to chew the pages. Find some books that are easy to fo­cus on, so you are look­ing for a white back­ground with sim­ple pic­tures, one that has touch and feel may help to cap­ture her at­ten­tion, for­get busy, busy books go for con­tent that is real life, not fan­tasy or make be­lieve.

So a book of an­i­mals or story about an an­i­mal is a good ex­am­ple, this al­lows you also to make noises for the dif­fer­ent an­i­mals – good for lan­guage.

Aim just to read un­til she is show­ing you that she has had enough. This may only be one page. Point to the pic­tures, make noises, talk about the story, look at colours etc un­til her fo­cus eye con­tact leaves the page and wan­ders around the room, then clearly say, “let’s turn the page’’ and do so.

Con­tinue un­til she starts to wrig­gle and squirm or give clear signs she is too tired and wants to lie down. Fin­ish the story right there. Put her into bed and give her the book as well, she is old enough to have the book in bed with her and turn the pages.

Try again to­mor­row. Be pa­tient but per­sis­tent and she will soon love read­ing time!

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