We talked about reading on this week’s Positively Dad podcast and it turns out that it’s important that dads read to their kids. Dr. Elisabeth Duursma told us that it helps our kids learn even if we read to them just 10 minutes a day a couple times a week. So that got me thinking, does it matter if we’re reading them an actual book or can we read from our e-reader? After all, it’s 2019. E-readers are everywhere and you can get books so quickly online.
Dr. Duursma mentioned right at the end of the podcast, “someone says I’m reading a book on my phone. You never know if that’s true. There is something different with you have the paper and look at pictures.” It turns out she may be right. A recent study in Pediatrics says traditional books are better. The study found that parents and kids are more likely to talk about what’s happening in the book when they have a hard copy. Moms and dads tend to interact differently when reading. Dr. Duursma said moms will ask questions like, “what color is the apple?” or “what sound does a car make?” Dads are more likely to ask questions about a memory or ask an opinion. They may say, “do you remember the time we went horseback riding?” or “what’s your favorite game to play outside?”
All of this interaction is important according to the study by the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “Research tells us that parent-led conversations is especially important for toddlers because they learn and retain new information better from in-person interactions than from digital media,” according to lead author Tiffany Munzer. She said young children asked fewer questions when the book was on an e-reader than they did when there were actual pages.
So… tonight get out your favorite book, turn the pages and enjoy some fun snuggle and reading time with your little one. It turns out it’s helping them more than you realize.
Information from The Dr. Will See You Now contributed to this post.