Someone once told me to let my child feel the books. I was intrigued. My toddler had a habit of tearing books whenever I left her unattended. I wondered why does my child rip up paper? Why do toddlers tear books, how to overcome this phase?
My little one was used to touching and feeling a book but, it was always a board book, and all the while I was holding the book. So basically, she never had a book all to herself without my interference. I always thought she’d tear the books, and she had torn a few, to be true!
Be it board books or paperbacks or her daddy’s work diary. Pihu had torn them all whenever she got the chance. But, hearing my friend’s comment got me thinking deeply about this behavioural aspect. Was I missing something?
She was so right.
My little one was tearing the books because she didn’t realize how fragile the books are. I hadn’t trusted her enough to be left alone with books. I had gifted her a reader’s mind but had forgotten to inculcate a very important virtue in her – RESPONSIBILITY.
Deep down I did not trust her enough that she could be so responsible. I hadn’t supported her enough to develop her truest potential essential for education. I felt shattered.
That day I made it a point to hand her books to hold while I read to her. Slowly I began leaving her to read all by herself. What started with two minutes of practice, gradually increased to more as and when she was in the mood to look see her books. It took us time and cost us one book whose page got only slightly torn, but the efforts were so worth it. Pihu has finally understood how to read books without tearing apart the pages!
And at last, I have finally cracked why do toddlers tear books!
It is a small victory. But considering the cost of these books and the pains, I take in choosing for her. The efforts both of us put in parenting her with the books. They should at least be around for say a hundred to thousand reading.
But truly, books are a costly investment and gosh, it is so heartbreaking when your little one tears apart the book while you looked away for just a mere second. They need to become lifelong friends and for that these books need to be around. Not in shreds but all together as a whole body.
No, I didn’t encourage her to tear and when she tore, I always asked to be careful the next time. With time and persistent efforts, I understood why do toddlers tear books and what fascination my baby felt watching paper shred. This was a gentle parenting win for me and my little one.
How to make your child understand not to tear their books?
Step 1: Encourage your child from their early days to pick a book of their choice for reading sessions. They will understand their choice matters. It will strengthen their liking of books.
Step 2: Begin by handing over a book while your child sits near you or say in your lap so that you can stop them in case they want to go rough with handling the book.
Step 3: Only when you are sure that your child is calm, well-fed, and in a positive frame towards the book in hand, then leave them alone. But always keep a watch on your toddler from the corner of your eyes. You know, just in case.
Step 4: Once you’ve achieved successful reading sessions without having a single book torn, keep at it! Do reward your baby with the tightest of hugs and smoochiest of kisses for every little win.
Step 5: Let them know, they did good. Offer a snack or an impromptu dance session.
I hope you liked this article and would share it with another book nerd mom. Please do drop in a word of encouragement for us and let’s be friends? Take care, keep safe.
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