A new study has been published and the results appeared recently in The New York Times about parents reading to their kids.
Basically, the study affirmed the fact that when an adult/parent has a child in his or her lap and together they read a book, the child receives far more information because of the interchange between them in the act of reading and talking about what’s in the book. The study was trying to determine whether the interaction was greater between the two when the item they were “reading” was a book or an iPad. For some reason, the iPad proved to be more of a distraction for both parent and child than the book did. in other words, they stayed on task when the item was a book and strayed when it was an iPad.
Writing about the study in The Times, Dr. Perri Klass had this to say:
“But clearly parents play an important role. The book that stimulates the dialogue between parent and toddler is also the child’s introduction to the pleasures of written language and stories. The pleasure that a parent takes in reading helps shape a growing child’s attitude. And the message to parents should not be that they’re doing it wrong (we all know we’re doing things wrong, just as we all know that we’re doing our best), but that parents really matter.”
So, there’s the bottom line, I guess.
I fondly remember sitting in my dad’s lap and reading books. That closeness was so wonderful and valuable. I also recall having a cousin whose dad would not let him sit on the dad’s lap for any reason, much less to read books. I commented about that to my dad. I don’t remember what he said. But, I sure felt sorry for my cousin.