Juggling different age ranges can be difficult. Everything from what they eat, to what they wear, to the movies they watch, to the games they play is a very delicate process of negotiation. Mostly it is a balance between screams of “it’s not fair, why do they get to” and meltdowns about “I had to wait until I was __ for that, why do they get to now”.
The 10-year-old is revolting against watching the 3-year-old appropriate Curious George. The 6-year-old is watching shows that you made your 11-year-old wait to watch. The 5-year-old eats as much ice cream as your 9-year-old. The 8-year-old gets to stay up and read while the 4-year-old is sent to bed kicking and screaming. The list goes on. It is never fair. Someone is always frustrated with the result and you just do the best you can. Finding that balance is as seemingly impossible with books as it is in life.
How do you find that perfect book that the older kids will still enjoy (and haven’t already read), while also keeping the little kids engaged? I start thinking about this question at the last chapter of each book we read as I try to figure out what to read next. Honestly, most of the time I have separate reading times with the younger kids and the older kids. And I will still do this, but I think there is great value in trying to find the right books that allow us to all read together. These books have worked well for us and I look forward to discovering more as the kids get older.
May family reading time be the one place you can please everyone!