Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Story Hour Rejects - I'm Not the Only One, Right?

In my mind, Story Hour at the library was supposed to be one of those rose-glowing awesome periods of quality time with my kids. During the school year, whenever I'd see the ads about Story Hour, I'd feel jealous of stay-at-home moms and guilty about not being able to take my own kids.

When I signed up at the library, the children's librarian assured me that Story Hour was geared to all kids, even though the listing says it's for preschoolers. Apparently, my kids didn't get that memo. They lasted about seven minutes. The other kids were all older and better behaved. They all followed the librarian's instructions and sat on the rug looking aghast at Atticus (wandering around) and Norah (who would NOT stop touching the one baby in the room and who fussed whenever I tried to hold her).

It's just their age, right? Am I doing something wrong that my 23 month-old and 26 month-old can't follow directions along with the rest of the group? Can other toddlers reliably sit still? Atticus and Norah love being read to and can sit still for long periods of time - when they feel like it. Are we failing to teach them the social skills they need to act like civilized young people? If I just wait and go back next summer with them, are they apt to have magically improved attention spans?

5 comments:

Min said...

Don't give up! Yes, it is normal for toddlers to want to "wander" around during storytime. The great thing is that they are still listening and will surprise you by what they pickup. I have an 18 month old. We started going when she was 15 months and she is just now starting to really interact and listen to the story.

I'm surprised your library doesn't have a smaller age breakdown ( babies, toddlers, preschoolers) etc...

Carrietracy said...

Seriously, the whole first half of first grade is getting six year olds to sit still for story. They don't wander like toddlers but they don't attend all the way either and some like Nora spend most of their time touching someone else. You're not doing anything wrong!! If they won't sit still when they're 9 come talk to me. - Saralinda

Angie said...

We had the same experience! I vowed never to go back to story time b/c it was totally stressful and Owen kept getting told to sit down. It was embarassing and more work than grocery shopping. Anyway your kids are normal and are not supposed to be sitting still at that age anyway!

Phatchik said...

It's actually not developmentally appropriate to expect toddlers to sit still for more than about 2 mintues. (One minute for every year of life - just like time out)

As an early childhood educator and then the owner of a preschool, I would always read a story to my classroom (and encouraged my staff to do the same) and whoever listened, listened and whoever sat, sat and whoever didn't, didn't. I refused to force "my kids" to sit still and quiet.

Basically, I said all that to say - your children are perfectly normal and doing what is expected for their age.

Laura said...

Elisa and Tory have also been story hour rejects! Elisa because she clings and fusses won't leave the lap of mom/dad/grandma/whoever, and Tory because she wanders around and starts making conversation at random with anybody who will listen. Atticus and Norah sound perfectly toddlerish to me!