While the benefits of bedtime stories are becoming increasingly evident, it seems parents today aren’t dedicating enough time to the age-old tradition.
In the article, ‘Reading becomes the new playtime’, Dr Sharon Goldfeld, pediatrician and board member for the Raising Children Network, discusses international studies which have found reading to kids from an early age can lead to improved educational outcomes.
Dr Goldfeld says the practice aids children’s literacy, brain development and imagination, while also stimulating curiosity. And what’s more, and you can’t start too soon.
“All the research is saying the earlier the better.”
“Letting your baby hear your voice by sharing stories and talking will set (them) up for success later in life when (they are) learning to read”, Dr Goldfeld says.
While the evidence is clear, recent studies in the UK suggest parents just aren’t heeding experts’ advice. While most acknowledge the benefits of bedtime reading, only 43 per cent read to their children every day.
These findings come on the back of studies of five year-olds revealing that 18 per cent have fallen behind the expected level of speech development for their age.
Mrs Jean Gross, educational psychologist and former head of the UK Government’s strategy for boosting primary school achievement, says, “adults lead increasingly busy lives and many are not able to spend as much time talking to their children as generations before”.
But, as busy as modern life may be, it’s integral not only to your children, but also your children’s children, that you spend as much time talking and reading to your kids as you can.
As Mrs Gross suggests, “If we have a generation who have not themselves been read to, they are not going to do it when they are parents.”