Reading Aloud to Young Children Has Benefits for Behavior and Attention

Did you know that reading aloud and playing with young children could have a sustained impact on a child’s behavior? A new study called the Video Interaction Project proved just that. The study consisted of 675 families with children from birth to 5 years of age. 225 of the families were randomly picked to be given books at their pediatricians office, and then recorded as they read to their child for five minutes. After the recording, they then have a consultation with a reading coach who would go over the film with them and point out the child’s positive reactions throughout the reading. The families not only saw an immediate benefit in their child’s behavior, but a new study found that the benefit lasted at least a year and a half later. The researchers think that when parents read and play with their children, they’re helping them learn to control their own behavior in addition to making them smile and laugh. If you’re interested in learning more check out this article from The New York Times which summarizes the study and provides some insight into actual parent and researcher experiences.