Blogger: Rachel Kent
I came across an article about a 2015 Harvard University study that showed that when a father reads to a child it leads to more advanced language development than when a mother reads to a child–especially for girls. I think this is fascinating and surprising! I, like the woman in this blog, take pride in my reading ability and I feel like I engage my children in the books by my reading style. I guess it is still better for my husband to do the bedtime reading? At least as far as encouraging language development goes, anyway. Maybe a mother’s reading leads to an advancement in something else?
The study found that men are more likely to engage children in abstract conversation while reading. Saying things like:
“‘Oh look, a ladder. Do you remember when I had that ladder in my truck?’ That is great for children’s language development because they have to use their brains more. It’s more cognitively challenging.”
I do a lot of reading with my children before bedtime and I wonder if this leads to less stimulating conversation because I am tired by the time we are settling in to read a book. Maybe a dad would read with the child at a different time of day? I can’t figure out why dad vs. mom would make a difference!
I am very glad that reading is a big part of the routine in our house and I love that my children enjoy books with mom or dad–and occasionally both of us at the same time! And I think they are on track with language development. My 9-month-old can say 2 distinct words: “hi” and “mama.” My 4 1/2 year old has a seemingly limitless vocabulary. She is constantly amazing us. 🙂
Do you have any thoughts on why it might be more beneficial for a dad to read to a child vs. a mom?
Did you grow up with a parent reading to you on a regular basis? Was it your dad or mom?
I searched around for a link to the actual study and I didn’t see it online. Sorry not to have that for you.