When my son was little, it became obvious very quickly that books were one of his favorite things. As soon as he could sit and coordinate his hands he would flip through pages on his own, and he would bring book after book for us to read aloud.
My daughter? Not so much. Oh, she loves books, but mostly to bang on and turn upside down and try to chew on. If her brother reads to her, she loves to listen, but with us she mostly turns her attention to pulling other books off the shelf.
Both my husband and I started to think of books and reading as “not her thing yet.” We keep books in the play area, and read to her when she seemed like she’d listen, but it wasn’t as much of a “go to” as it was for our son.
Then, I picked up a lullaby book that had photographs of babies in it. She was riveted. She kept patting the babies and babbling excitedly. So, at the bookstore I scoured the shelves for any other books with real babies in them (I could only find two). Last night, we read those books over and over and she focused on them for a good 15-20 minutes.
So, I was wrong. It wasn’t that reading “wasn’t her thing,” it was that I hadn’t explored far enough to see what she needed. An important reminder for me as a parent and teacher.
**UPDATE: My son gave me another good reminder to explore further before writing something off as “not their thing.” He is rarely interested in drawing at home and doesn’t gravitate towards the art table at school. However, he recently has been on an ocean kick and got inspired to draw some of his favorite animals. My fridge is quickly filling up with all of his drawings inspired by something he is passionate about!**