A recent research study conducted by the Early Start Research Institute at the University of Wollongong in South Wales, UK, found that reading to children is important. It also found that when fathers read to their children they may have a different style and approach than mothers.
While moms tend to focus on details in the book itself, dads tend to relate the story details to their own life experiences as well as those of their children. The study found for example, “when a ladder was discussed in the book, many fathers mentioned the last time they had used a ladder to climb up on the roof or use it for their work. Mothers focused more on the details in the book and often asked children to label or count objects or identify colors.”
Of course it is important that both moms and dads spend time reading to kids. Daily reading, such as before bedtime, promotes positive bonding, encourages communication and builds language skills.
Here are a few hints for reading to children:
- Try to use inflections to indicate action and imitate separate characters to draw kids into the story.
- Use a sense of humor when appropriate.
- Share your take on the story. Discuss interesting details and information in the story.
- Get your child’s take on the story.
- Make up a story together or have them make up their own story.
- With older children you can take turns reading parts of the story.
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