Why Dads Should Read to Kids at Bedtime & Moms Should Kick Back With a Glass of Wine

As a mom, do you enjoy story time with your kid? Even if you act out all the characters, apparently, it's not as good as a man. A study from Harvard University believes dads reading to kids is better.


Dr. Elizabeth Duursma (she's now at a university in Australia) and researchers claim dads reading stories to young children will have a stronger impact on language development. What's interesting is that girls in particular seem to benefit more from Dad reading.

It's okay to think this study totally comes from left field. After all, who would assume reading and development would be more effective if a man did it? Please don't misunderstand, men can read -- and be just as entertaining when it comes to reading stories to children as moms -- but this is ... interesting.

Even though it's assumed most story reading is often done by mothers, when a father does it, it can be more special -- even encouraging more kids to use their imagination. Apparently, women ask technical questions, whereas men take the abstract route, and therefore push a child to use his or her brain more. Let's say you're reading a book about apple picking; a mom would likely ask how many apples are present, while a dad might mention that he has a similar bucket in the garage -- and ask whether or not the child remembers seeing it.

Honestly, all of this is a little strange to me. While I'm still not sold on this concept, I do agree with researchers that you should start reading to kids as soon as possible, preferably before age 2.

More from The Stir: 25 Top Chapter Books to Read With Your Child at Bedtime

Growing up, both of my parents read to me, though I have more vivid memories of my mom pulling out the books (in all fairness, my dad was a cop and worked at night). I remember her introducing me to tales full of adventure. Each night, we would nestle in my bed and take a journey between every page. There was mystery and excitement that really made me look forward to reading. Seeing as I learned to read before my third birthday, I think I did all right in the language department.

Look, we can roll our eyes and suck our teeth all we want at studies like this. Take them for face value, or ask questions.

If this study truly believes they have the research to back the fact that stories read by Dad are more beneficial, fine. I will gladly hand my husband all of our sons' books so he can read while I take a long soak in the tub, with a tall glass of white wine, some grapes, and a good book.

Do not disturb me, babe.

Remember, our children's language development is at stake here.

Image via Oksana Kuzmina/shutterstock

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