Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
A new study from Harvard University in the USA reveals that children benefit more from their father reading them bedtime stories.e
Dads, the research revealed, spark more “imaginative discussions” and are more instrumental to their children’s language development because of the way they read to their kids.
I’m appearing on Sky News programme ‘Sunrise’ tomorrow discussing this fascinating study.
Over the course of a year researching the impact that parents reading had upon their children the study leader, Dr Elisabeth Duursma, found that girls in particular benefited more when read to by a male. “The impact is huge – particularly if dads start reading to kids under the age of two,” explains Duursma. “Reading is seen as a female activity and kids seem to be more tuned in when their dad reads to them – it’s special.”
Unfortunately a recent poll – of 1,000 mums and dads – by the charity Book Trust found that young parents especially are reading less to their children than older generations. Just 19pc of dads under 25 said they enjoyed a bedtime read with their children – whilst 78pc of older fathers said it was their favourite part of the day.
Author and comedian David Walliams has since led an initiative to get more dads reading stories to their children, emphasising to fathers the many benefits that reading for just 20 minutes a day can have upon their kids … and themselves.
As a former Deputy Head & Class Teacher who also taught Reception Classes where kids begin to read in school, I find this piece of research absolutely fascinating !
I love that Dads can have that impact on their children’ s love of reading, developing their vocabulary and also opening up a different avenue of thought than mums through their different types of questioning that aid their child’s imagination.
Children who are read to, and learn to sing Nursery Rhymes have better vocabulary and language skills which is really important to develop in the very early formative years of cognitive development.
I’m delighted David Walliams is leading a campaign to get Dads reading to their kids – I loved being read to by my Dad and he used to make up his own stories too for me and then for my kids ! He even had to make up ‘True Lies’ as he ran out of true stories about his childhood!
All building memories that last a lifetime !
Over the course of a year researching the impact that parents reading had upon their children the study leader, Dr Elisabeth Duursma, found that girls in particular benefited more when read to by a male.
“The impact is huge – particularly if dads start reading to kids under the age of two,” explains Duursma. “Reading is seen as a female activity and kids seem to be more tuned in when their dad reads to them – it’s special.”
Here, in no particular order, are five reasons why all dads should take enjoy this new hobby !
Dads take the stories to another level
Shared book reading – mum does a story one night, dad the next – has been found to more than just improve language skills. When mothers read, they often focus on characters’ feelings whilst dads will link the narrative to something more pertinent to the child.
“Dad is more likely to say something like, ‘Oh look, a ladder. Do you remember when I had that ladder in my truck?’” Dr Duursma explains.
“That is great for children’s language development because they have to use their brains more. It’s more cognitively challenging.”
Joe Bernstein is a dad who enjoys adding a bit of challenge to his four-year-old daughter’s favourite tales. “When she knows the story well, I will change one of the words every couple of pages so she can interject and correct me, usually laughing,” he explains. “We call it reading silly. ‘Dad, read it silly’.”
Read more here -> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relationships/fatherhood/11896196/Five-reasons-why-dads-should-read-to-their-children-more.html