You’re embarrassed to admit it. After all, you keep hearing advice about reading to your kids from day one. Or the book lists your kids are supposed to love. And story time at your local library is jam packed with kids—every single one who loves reading.

Yet you can’t seem to coerce yours to even sit on your lap for one book. Or maybe your kid would rather play with Legos, crayons, or run around in the backyard—anything, except read.

You can’t believe this has happened, but somehow, your kid hates reading.

With research listing the benefits of reading to children—many that serve them well into adulthood—you’re left at a loss. Reading is good for your kids, but how do you get them to like it?

If you’re like some parents, you may unknowingly be making well-meaning mistakes that turn your kids away from reading. In an effort to encourage reading, could you actually be discouraging it? Take, for instance, these five mistakes that make kids hate reading:

Read the rest of my guest post at Cloud Mom>

Don’t feel bad if your kids don’t like reading—there’s still hope. What else can parents do to make sure kids don’t hate reading? Let us know in the comments!

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13 Children's Books by Oliver Jeffers

It seemed like Oliver Jeffers was going to enter our lives one way or another.

The first time was when we read How to Catch a Star—except the book I borrowed from the library was in Spanish. Of course I had no idea what the story was about, but my eldest appreciated it at the time when his dad read to him.

The second time was when I kept seeing this book about crayons popping up on the Amazon bestseller lists. And that’s how I realized The Day the Crayons Quit was illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.

Then, as if the world wanted to make sure I understood How to Catch a Star, my blogger friend Oana ran a giveaway for that book—and I won. So now I’ve read the book in Spanish and English.

And the one that cinched it all came when my cousin and his daughter visited from out of town and gifted my kids the video rendition of Lost and Found. My kids hadn’t read it yet, so off to the library we went to borrow the book, where we ended up borrowing nearly every Oliver Jeffers book along the way.

So yeah, I guess you can say we’re fans. And I’m hoping, after having read a few of these books below, you’ll be one, too:

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Most people would agree that success comes from hard work. Reaching an achievement requires practice and effort not for the lazy. But we forget one underlying factor that is essential for success: pure, simple grit.

How to Raise Kids with Grit

Every one of us—including our kids—will fail. Despite hard work, we won’t always get what we want, what we strive for. And giving up is so easy.

Grit, however, keeps us from doing just that. With grit, we bounce back. We grieve expectations and losses. We learn from mistakes. And we try again, and again.

Kids perhaps are better suited to grit. They’re some of the most resilient little buggers I’ve ever seen. Think about the baby learning to walk despite a zillion falls, bumps and scrapes. Or the preschooler who will park himself in front of a puzzle until he completes it.

But somewhere along the way, we lose a bit of this skill. We berate ourselves when we don’t know all the answers, or when we’d rather be complacent than learn something new.

How then can we encourage our kids not to lose this trait? To keep their grit—and succeed?

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I visited a friend last weekend, and when asked ‘What’s new?’ I did my usual shrug and said, “Not much.”

Because it’s true: In general, my life remains the same—and I like it that way. I love how life doesn’t throw me for any major craziness, no jam-packed schedules or endless to-do lists.

Still, that makes it seem like all I do at home is blog and read. So while life hasn’t changed all that much, here’s a snippet of my life—all the mundane things I would tell you if we were having coffee (or hot chocolate):

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My friend Danielle from Keeping Up with the Holsbys wrote a post about a mom who received backlash from other moms (surprise!). This mom, Kirra, belonged to a Moms Facebook group where she described her natural birth story—no medicines, everything according to her birth plan, her ideal delivery. Boasting? According to the other members, yes—she was bragging too much.

Are Moms Boasting when They Share Natural Birth Stories?

I’m probably the last person who should weigh in on this topic. Unlike many moms, I saw my birthing process as something that had to be done—a means to an end, if you will. Of course, I wanted to avoid unnecessary or conflicting circumstances (and here’s where I made sure my husband stood as an advocate for me in the hospital room), but I just wanted to meet my future kids in the safest, healthiest and pain-free way possible.

That’s another thing: I never once entertained the idea of not having an epidural. For both deliveries, I requested the epidural as soon as I was admitted. I never attempted to go drug-free to see how long I could last, so I suppose I never felt like I “failed” or didn’t get to reach my goals of going drug-free. Read more →

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