Story Time Then Vs. Now: Tell Me More Stories Mom!

Story time with our children is more than the books we read, and it has its own phases.

The transition of story time has been pretty cool when I stop to think about it. It follows a circle of life pattern actually.

The beginning…

When my daughter was in the womb, I’d sit in the rocking chair in her freshly painted nursery (with elephant and monkey’s to complement the neutral theme), and I’d read one or two baby books on repeat.

Upon her arrival, the stories were read here, there, and everywhere—including that same rocking chair. I would cradle her and entertain her with a sing-song voice and intonation to make reading and rereading fun!

As she grew older and was able to select her own books, she would pick the same ones over and over just like I did with my favorite songs on CD back in the day!

Where was mommy brain when I needed it most? I wished I could forget how the story went so it was new to me each time.

I tried my hardest to find something new and different to mix things up. Sometimes, it would be the way I read it. Other times, I would come up with a twist to see if I could get it by her to bring some variety into story time.

The struggle was real. This mamma really adores change, fresh new ideas, and perspective, so this was a little more than mamma could bare. I had certainly visualized more “happily ever after fairy tale reading with my child” moments…not this reality.

My process mind started picking up the pattern that was being laid down: r-e-p-e-t-i-t-i-o-n!

My daughter started reading to me!

The next transition in this circle of life-like story time adventure was that my daughter started reading to me!

Again, it was the same books for a while until Bob Books got introduced, and school required different ones to be read each week or so. Ahhh! Can you say relief? The repetition had a shorter shelf life: only a week!

Then the books became longer, so it was just sections of a book being read to me of larger chapter books. The current series, Dork Diaries and Raina Telgemeier, are tween-themed books, all of which have the cartoon photos and words more like comics.

The repetition remains, though, as there are books that she reads and re-reads as well as reading all the books in the series. I find it fascinating that repetition is a consistent theme through our story time life cycle.

Story time became more about our stories.

Next up, story time became less about books and more about the stories shared about my life growing up and even things that happened when she was a baby and little girl.

Those are the stories she craves, and she wants to know every last detail. Those are the stories she wants to hear, corroborate with my family members, and ask additional detailed questions about. Then, when she knows the story pretty well (because, again: repetition), she still asks questions, even though she knows the answers, because she wants story time to be as lifelike as possible. She even wished this weekend she could go back in time to see the fun things I did when I was younger!

As she is 9.5 years old, I know this story time will be evolving even more, and I look forward to seeing how that transpires.

Have you noticed a pattern in your young reader?

Are you ready for the shift to a more autobiographical story time?

Why not get prepared and start jotting down the stories you’re excited to share about when you were a little girl or when your child was younger but will not have remembered.

Those are the stories that don’t make it to a book, so we must share them when story time shifts to be more oral.