So, we are working on reading. I have developed a series of fun interactive games to help her learn to read. For example, we make letters out of rope, name words that begin with those letters, and then walk the letter tightrope. We made a ladybug word wheel, that had a strip of letters rotating in the middle, and the letter “ug” on the end, so we can get hug, bug, rug, etc. We have a basket of letters that she gets to pick from, and we write and read as many words that begin with that letter, we have alphabet bingo, we have level appropriate books. Each time we start a new activity, she is engaged and happy, and does really well. However, each time we go back to an old activity, she doesn’t want to work at it. She sighs after each letter, she cries if she can’t read the word the very first time, and in the end, she is a screaming, crying mess. I have not been a pushy, mean mommy. I have not let my frustration show. When she gets like this, I tell her we will go back to reading later, when she is less frustrated. This results in her blowing up and screaming and crying even harder. Right now, she is in her room screaming her head off about how she “will give me all her attention and won’t yawn anymore”. I put her down for a nap after we tried to read the word “huff” about three hundred times. We were having a really hard time, she was getting really tired, but she didn’t want to stop, and each time I suggested it, she got really upset. She would sound the word out, get it right, forget it, sound it out, yawn, get it right, cry, calm down, sound it out while yawning and rubbing her eyes, forget it, sound it out… you get the picture. I told her we would try again later, but each time I tell her that she starts screaming about how she is never going to read, that it is too hard.
Is it wrong to want to just scream when your kid complains that the 30 minutes to an hour of game filled reading exercises are too hard? I mean, it must be hell on wheels to have to circle all the items in a picture that begin with the letter f. It must be the worst thing ever to have to sit still for five minutes trying to read the world “bug” on a ladybug shaped word wheel that you get to spin for the beginning letter. Argh!!
And yet, if I show my frustration, she is going to pick up on it and this will all get worse. The worst about it is, she is good! She is reading! She read five pages of a book this morning in about 10 minutes, and then she melted down into madness. Yesterday, she read all the words on her bug wheel, and then melted down into madness. The more she is able to read, the more she cries about not being able to read. We celebrate each word she reads with hugs and smiles, but any time she encounters a single hard word, she loses it. We talk about how reading is hard, and no one picks up a book and starts reading it right away. We discuss the importance of practice, but she still gives up right away.
Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Laudanum?