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Do you allow interruptions while you're reading to your child?

When I'm reading to my children, my 2 yo daughter wants to talk. She relates to the story and sometimes goes off on tangents and makes up her own story. I can see in many ways why this may be good, but we get totally off track and when she does it the whole time, it really interrupts the story. So, what do you think? Should children be quiet and just listen to the story? Or should they be allowed to talk and talk and talk while you're reading a story to them?

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Asked by Senae at 3:02 PM on Apr. 15, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (11)
  • It really does help with their learning and reading and development to be able to do that. However, at school or daycare they can't. If she is at home, then let her. Maybe curb it as she gets older.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 3:04 PM on Apr. 15, 2009

  • good question. i let my kids go off on small tangents and then I bring them back to the story and tell them that we'd like to get through it.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 3:05 PM on Apr. 15, 2009

  • If she's a toddler, then I wouldn't make her sit quietly through the whole story. My kids are allowed to get up and leave if they get bored, I don't really force them.

    Answer by prettyrayray at 3:05 PM on Apr. 15, 2009

  • Sounds to me like your daughter is developing quite an imagination. I'd let her do it and start to taper it off a bit as she gets older if it doesn't happen naturally. My 2 yr son likes to point to all the pictures and either tell me what they are or have me tell him. I've found it really helps develop his speech skills despite messing up the story.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:13 PM on Apr. 15, 2009

  • Have you tried to stop on each page and point something out in the pictures..talking about the story? Maybe this will satisfy the need for her to talk...and teach her a little patience. A side plus is it is proven to increase reading comprehension in kids.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 3:13 PM on Apr. 15, 2009

  • re: prettyrayray, My daughter doesn't get bored during story time. Quite the opposite. Last night, we were reading all about whales. There was a mention of dolphins. She asked me if baby dolphins eat baby food like her baby brother. I told her that was a great question, answered it, and then went back to the story. Each part of the story brings up questions and thoughts. I like for her to voice those thoughts and questions, but like I said, sometimes it can take us very off track . . . I'm interested in hearing what people think though. Great thoughts so far.

    Answer by Senae at 3:16 PM on Apr. 15, 2009

  • Her interruptions and tangets are helping her learn. Getting to the end of the story isn't the point of storytime. Learning about the world, seeing how all the different pieces fit together, is what's important. If she went to a baseball game several days ago and sees someone in a picture in the story playing baseball, why shouldn't she try to relate what she is seeing to what she experienced? That's how we learn. So, yes, let her interrupt as much as she wants. It's good for her brain!

    Answer by kaycee14 at 3:28 PM on Apr. 15, 2009

  • My kids did this when they were little. We would to that, they would go off on their tangent, then, after a bit, I would try to tie what they were saying back into the story with something like "wow - that happened to you, too? Well, let's see what Jane (or whoever the story is about) did next..."

    It's actually a very good thing that they do this, it shows they are able to process, absorb, and relate to what they're hearing/reading. Which is a HUGE skill in reading, b/c all too often, kids can read the words, but there isn't a real comprehension of what they read. What she's doing helps build all these skills, as well as helping build cause and effect, anticipation of plot, etc, which is also good - it will help her academically and will make her "a reader" who loves books, as opposed to someone who can read but not comprehend it, or reads and comprehends but doesn't like to read.


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 4:02 PM on Apr. 15, 2009

  • cont
    Like I said, my kids did this, now they're teens and we still read together as a family - we still read books out loud (my dd and I just finished Pride and Prejudice), we read the same books but to ourselves and we talk about them (like a family book club), and we read books on our own (some we suggest to others in the family, some we just read). They both have extremely advanced reading levels, and they're in advanced classes and on honor roll at school, because reading impacts so many areas of education.

    It might be frustrating, and it might seem to interrupt the "flow" of the story, but it really isn't - it shows just how "into" the story she is, and how much she's developing mentally :-)

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 4:05 PM on Apr. 15, 2009

  • Let her direct it. She'll be more interested in the story later. Right now she's learning so much from what she's doing...

    Answer by EmilySusan at 4:42 PM on Apr. 15, 2009

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