Three Excuses Dads Make And What They Really Mean

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Moms frequently notice that their husbands are simply not so excited about reading aloud, to put it mildly.

It's a minefield peppered with excuses and furtive glances towards the TV or the laptop.

Tired of listening to the same old sorry excuses?

Here is a short breakdown of the three favorite ones:

THE EXCUSE: He says he is always in a rush

  • She thinks: He’s exaggerating. 
  • He really means: I would rather do something else. 
  • Reality check: He is having a hard time connecting with reading aloud as a fun activity. Try to involve the Dad in the selection of books and try to fire him up about enlightening the kids about topics that he enjoys too! 

THE EXCUSE: He says he is too tired to read aloud

  • She thinks: He’s exaggerating. 
  • He really means: I would rather do something else. 
  • Reality check: He needs to discover how enjoyable reading aloud is. Try to show him what he is missing by reading aloud fun books in a family setting first. Ask him to listen with the kids, no one is too tired to listen. Let him hear the squeals of laughter. Choose excellent books to read aloud. Some books can be boring. 

THE EXCUSE: He does not have any free time, even at home

  • She thinks: He’s exaggerating. 
  • He really means: I am all stressed out and I would rather do something else.
  • Reality Check: Reading aloud is a relaxing activity with the right book. He might be afraid that if he starts reading aloud one day, you will expect him to read aloud every day. For reluctant read-aloud dads, introduce two read-aloud days (let him choose the day) in the week - for example Thursday and Saturday - and then build from there. 

I am guilty of making up excuses too. Many dads are.

But don't believe us.

It is high time to bury those sorry excuses under a big pile of children's books!

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  1. I think until you make the dad read with his child, he has no idea how this is actually fun! My husband resisted until we needed 3 adult readers simultaneously for our 3 kids so he had to be on deck. Now, he doesn't do it every night but he does enjoy it about 2x a week.

  2. Of course now all our kids can finally read on their own... but they still love being read to and read with. Even picture books!

  3. Great post! It's like with so many things- sometimes you just have to do it!

  4. Wise words! 

    Indeed, the fun is "in the pudding" - for example, I read Double Trouble in Walla Walla tonight to my kids and their reactions were priceless.

    Usually this book elicits stares of wonder and confusion, but tonight my kids followed the story from start to finish. 

    It was a wonderful experience, made all the more enjoyable by those earlier confused stares. 

    Tonight the book was fun for all and we broke the read-aloud barrier! (oooh! this is a great new idea for a post!) Thanks for getting my creative juices flowing!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @2f04fd44b02f5004c4fadc411b33b1aa 

  5. Thanks Stacey,

    Wise words indeed. It comes down to what you said - sometimes you just have to do it! 

    There is not other way around it. Reading aloud is reading aloud.

    It requires time, requires books, requires communication!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: Stacey Loscalzo 

  6. Definitely great post.  If we can inspire expectant dads to start reading aloud to the womb, maybe the excuses will decrease.  Happy #WorldMaJenDomeDay. 

  7. Thanks for your wise words MaJenDome!

    Indeed expectant dads - and all other dads everywhere - have a great contribution to make to children's literacy!

    We all stumble occasionally - for example I didn't read aloud to my kids for the past two days (I was sick) - but it is easy to come back into the game. 

    Just pick up a book and invite your kid to sit in your lap!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: MaJenDome 

  8. Great post! My husband was pretty good about reading aloud when our kids were younger. The books were short. Books were everywhere. The kids always listened to books before bed. Dad would read at least two or more times per week.
    Our kids are older now. They are 8, 8, and 10. I try to read aloud a few chapter books that interest all three every now and then. I talked their dad into doing this for the first time at the beginning of December. I researched and found a few books for him to choose from. He chose The Castle in the Attic and he is almost done reading it.
    It can be done. Your advice is great. Reading aloud and sharing a story is a special type of bonding that Dads and kids should not miss! 
    I like PragmaticMom's comment. There are many picture books and non-fiction books older kids enjoy along with chapter books.

  9. Hi Pacrapacma,

    Thanks for your great message! 

    It can be done indeed! Love those words!

    Reading aloud and sharing a story is an experience that is so much more than reading aloud. It is all about leaving the day-to-day communication behind... and going on an adventure. 

    Thinking and feeling together. 

    Tell your husband that I will follow suit and will find The Castle in the Attic for our collection. 

    Inspiration is infectious. 

    It can be done!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @32fa126179110287c7fb848e7c7b0136