Reading With Toddlers Linked To Reduced Harsh Parenting

A new study is confirming the importance of reading to children. However, it didn't just focus on the benefits reading has on children’s behavior and development, but it also investigated the impact reading with children has on parenting.

There have been many studies linked to the benefits of reading to children. A study, which looked at the influence of traditional toys such as books, found that reading increased the quantity and quality of language among kids. It has also been shown that children whose parents read and speak to them regularly, have a larger vocabulary by the age of two than those who are not.

This most recent study, by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School researchers, has discovered that reading with young children also benefits parenting. The findings  An added bonus? The study also found that children are less disruptive and hyperactive.

Researchers followed 2,165 mother-child pairs from various cities within the United States. At the start of the study, the mothers reported how often they read to their children (ages one and/or three). Two years later, they were asked about their children’s behavior, and whether or not physical or psychological aggressive discipline was used. The findings showed that regular reading at the age of one, resulted in less harsh parenting at age three. As well, regular reading at age three resulted in less harsh parenting at age five.

"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.

The importance of reading to children at a young age greatly influences their vocabulary and the amount of words they are familiar with. For children who are five years old, if they are never read to, will know 4,662 words. For those who are read to one or two times per week, will know 63,570 words. Reading three to five times per week results in 169,520 words. Amazingly, children who were read five books a day, will know 1, 483, 300 words.

While picking up a book and reading to your children isn’t the solution to parenting, it’s easy to see that it definitely benefits both parents and children. So, take a few minutes, scoop up your little one, and snuggle up with a great book!

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