Reading to Your Kids Makes You More Affectionate

Some of you may have kids already, or are thinking about what kind of parent you’ll be down the line. A study conducted by the University of Sussex concluded that reading physical books with your children ultimately makes parents more attentive and affectionate. And it’s not just reading in general. The study found that reading physical, paper books was more effective than e-books. Reading time is a way to bond with your children as well as teach. You learn how they react to certain things, are able to answer pertinent questions, and form a bond through a particular story. 

According to Quartz,

“Video observations of shared reading sessions of 24 sets of British mothers and their kids, ages seven to nine—sometimes with the child reading and at others with the mother reading—revealed that physical book sessions were more lively and loving than shared tablet reading. The researchers also tested for cognitive differences, such as retention, but found none.”

The researchers, Nicola Yull and Alex Martin reported their findings after the kids were asked what they remembered from the texts, and their interactions with their mothers were filmed:

“We found that the children’s memory for the descriptions and narratives showed no difference between the two media. But that’s not the whole story,” writes Yull in The Conversation. “The interactions of parent and child were found to be different in the…video observation of the study. When they read from paper rather than a screen, there was a significant increase in the warmth of the parent/child interactions: more laughter, more smiling, more shows of affection.”

From the experiment, it seems that the interaction with the physical, paper book resulted in more cuddling and attentive interaction, while the e-book was more of an individual activity. Obviously there’s no stopping the rise of technology and there hasn’t been a significant study proving which form of reading is ultimately better for children, but this experiment shows something. In youth, social interaction is an important tool for development. Reading together is just a way of improving that connection.   


Featured image courtesy of The Huffington Post