REGULAR READING BENEFITS BOTH BABY AND PARENTS
Regularly reading to babies and toddlers is beneficial not just for little ones but for adults too, a new study from Rutgers University has found.
The research, published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, found that parents who regularly read to their babies and toddlers (aged 1 to 3) are less harsh towards their children overall, while the children are less likely to be disruptive or hyperactive.
The results showed that frequent shared reading at age 1 was associated with less harsh parenting at age 3, and frequent shared reading at age 3 was associated with less harsh parenting at age 5. Mothers who read frequently with their children also reported fewer disruptive behaviors from their children, which may partially explain the reduction in harsh parenting behaviors.
While previous studies have shown that frequent shared reading prepares children for school by building language, literacy and emotional skills, this study may be the first to focus on how shared reading affects parenting.
Assistant professor Manual Jimenez, who led the study, said: "For parents, the simple routine of reading with your child on a daily basis provides not just academic but emotional benefits that can help bolster the child's success in school and beyond."
And while we're on the subject of reading to little ones, The New York Times has compiled a list of the best picture books of babies' favorite subject: themselves.