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Reading with toddlers linked to better parenting, enhanced child behaviour

ANI | Updated: May 24, 2019 15:27 IST

Washington DC [USA], May 24 (ANI): Parents take note! Turns out, reading with your toddlers can benefit both you and your child.
According to a new study, people who read with their toddlers are less likely to engage in harsh parenting and the children are less likely to be hyperactive or disruptive.
The study was published in 'Journal of Development and Behavioural Pediatrics'.
Previous studies have shown that frequent shared reading prepares children for school by building language, literacy and emotional skills, but the current study may be the first to focus on how shared reading affects parenting.
The study suggests additional benefits from shared reading like a stronger parent-child bond and less hyperactivity and attention problems in children.
"For parents, the simple routine of reading with your child on a daily basis provides not just academic but emotional benefits that can help bolster the child's success in school and beyond," said lead researcher Manuel Jimenez.
"Our findings can be applied to programs that help parents and caregivers in underserved areas to develop positive parenting skills," Jimenez added.
The study reviewed data on 2,165 mother-child pairs from 20 large cities in which the women were asked how often they read to their children at ages 1 and or 3. The mothers were re-interviewed two years later, about how often they engaged in physically or psychologically aggressive discipline and about their children's behaviour.
The study controlled for factors such as parental depression and financial hardship that can contribute to harsh parenting and children's disruptive behaviour.
The results showed that frequent shared reading at age 1 was associated with less harsh parenting at age 3, and frequent shared reading at age 3 was associated with less harsh parenting at age 5.
Mothers who read frequently with their children also reported less disruptive behaviour from their children, which may partially explain the reduction in harsh parenting behaviours.
The current findings can help in strengthening programmes that promote the academic, emotional and socioeconomic wellbeing of children, the authors said. (ANI)

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