Reading aloud to your children is not only a great way to entertain them, according to The New York Times, but it’s a great way help them get to sleep. It helps them learn and it can even help improve their behavior. Plus **BONUS**, it allows you to spend time with them. How cool is that.
Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, an associate professor of pediatrics at the New York University School of Medicine led a study of 675 families with children that were tracked from birth to age 5. A random selection of 225 families received intervention during their pediatric visits in which they were given books and toys. Parents were videotaped reading to their children and then given coaching that encouraged them to read with them frequently at home.
When the study looked at all the children at ages 3 and 4, kids in the group that received the intervention were found to have significantly fewer problems with aggression and hyperactivity. They were also found to have longer attention spans.
The doctors leading the study believe that reading aloud also helps children to learn to use words to describe their feelings more easily, helping them to control anger and sadness.
According to PBS Parents, it helps to start early with babies and read often throughout the week. Making it a part of a daily bedtime routine is an excellent cue for both parent and child that it’s time to read. Although it can be tempting to rush through a book and turn out the lights, intentionally take time to ask questions, explain stories, and generally keep reading time interactive.
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