Want your kids to settle down? Try this
In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers randomly selected some pediatric patients to be part of a program, beginning at birth and continuing through age 3, where their parents read aloud to them at every visit to the doctor. These sessions were video-recorded and reviewed by the parents with a coach who helped them continue to improve in their interactions.
The results showed that the children who were part of the program had fewer attention problems and less disruptive behavior when they eventually started school. Kids who continued to participate in the program after age 3 had even better results.
The study author says early literacy activities such as reading aloud, pretend play, teaching and talking, beginning at birth, can help support behaviors that will be important for learning when children enter school.
This comes as no surprise to Dr. Aaron Traeger, a pediatrician who, along with his fellow pediatricians at Advocate Children’s Medical Group in Bloomington, Ill., participate in a national literacy program for their patients called Reach Out & Read.
“Reading aloud to your kids is so simple that it seems that something else must be better, that some other technology out there makes them smarter,” says Dr. Traeger. “But research shows repeatedly that an involved parent, interacting with their child is the best for development.”
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