There is no better way to instill a love for learning early on than to find time in your busy day to wind down and share stories with your kids
Many children look forward to bedtime stories. Snuggling with their mum or dad as they hear stories in a calming voice, lulling them to sleep but also inciting their imagination.
Sadly, many parents are too exhausted or preoccupied to find the time at the end of the day to read storybooks, no matter how much they want to.
According to a recent poll by Book Trust, which included 1,000 mums and dads, younger parents are reading less to their children as opposed to parents who grew up in older generations.
Though mums make excellent storytellers, new research out of Harvard suggests that children benefit more when their dads reading to them.
The research found that fathers spark more “imaginative discussions”. Research also found that the way fathers read to their kids encourages language development.
The study, helmed by Dr. Elisabeth Duursma, took place over the course of a year.
It was also found that girls benefited more when read to by their dad.
“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 are five reasons why dad should definitely end each day with story time.
1. Dads focus on a different side of a story
While both mum and dad should come up with a schedule for shared book reading, mothers tend to focus on more abstract concepts of a story while dads tend to dwell on more concrete things.
“Dad is more likely to say something like, ‘Oh look, a ladder. Do you remember when I had that ladder in my truck?’” explains Dr. Duursma to the Telegraph. “That is great for children’s language development because they have to use their brains more. It’s more cognitively challenging.”
2. Boys also benefit from dad’s tales
Though the mentioned study focused on dads’ positive influence on girls, previous research (link: Why Fathers Matter to their children’s literacy by National Literacy Trust) also claims regular storytime builds stronger bonds between father and sons.
More great things about a storytelling dad on the next page!