Fathers Lag Behind Moms in Reading to Their Children

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Although many reports show that up to 79% of Americans read in bed, a new study finds that fathers do not read to their kids enough.

A poll conducted by British organization Book Trust found that while 42% of mothers reported reading to infants every day, only 29% of fathers were. In addition, for three year olds, 71% of mothers read and 62% of fathers read. By the time they turn five, mothers stay at 75% while fathers fall to 60%.

As the child grows older, the number of fathers reading continues to fall, and by 15 only one quarter of fathers read to their children. These kind of disparities were alarming to researchers, who believe that children benefit from the inclusion of both parents in learning.

In the United States, where English test scores are in free-fall, and many graduate college without being able to adequately write, it is more important than ever to bolster kids’ literacy by fostering in them a love of books and of learning in general. The importance of reading and writing needs to be emphasized, and with the inclusion of both parents, that message can be amplified.

The rule shouldn’t only apply to fathers, either — researchers encourage anyone who spends time with children to read with them. This means that grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and caregivers should also be in the equation. It only takes 10 minutes of your day to keep reading a constant. Reading to kids at bedtime in a time-honored tradition.

The benefits of reading of your child are immense and can continue to grow as they get older. Through reading, they will develop language skills, remember tunes and rhymes, and gain the skills necessary to develop their writing. The study also found that parents who read to their children every day sent their children to school with a 12-month lead on the rest of their class. Reading to your children can build lifelong skills, and is also quality bonding time. Take advantage of the time with your children, and help them get ahead!

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