Before our daughter, Cam, was born I’d never known my husband to read for pleasure, but how times have changed. He gets immense pleasure from reading with her, and I believe he has developed a more positive attitude to reading in general.
Now, I almost need to win a hand-wrestle with my husband in order to read with my daughter. We both love it and to be honest we actually share our reading with Cam fairly equally.
Although I’d love to be reading with Cam all of the time, I love what she is gaining from reading with her dad. The benefits are rich:
- They choose and read different books together, and subsequently Cam is learning about her dad’s preferences and interests. She is exposed to a wider range of books than she would be if she was only reading with me. They especially love reading books about dads.
- Together, they interpret the story differently (I’ll often read a story with Cam and she’ll unexpectedly burst into laughter. I feel like I’ve missed a joke, but their previous reading of a particular book has obviously lead to an amusing conversation. Or, sometimes they’ve found something funny in the illustrations that I’ve missed).
- My husband has a wonderful range of voices, so he brings another dimension to the characters in the stories.
- It helps with their bonding. They both look forward to snuggling and reading together.
- It is further developing her positive attitude to reading. She’s learning through practise that reading is not just for girls and it’s something that both of her parents value.
Here are some precious moments of some of our daddy-readers enjoying books with their children. I think you’ll agree that these dads make reading incredibly special for their kids.
Do your children read with their father?
I know there are so many fathers who share my husband’s attitude to reading with their children, but there are also many that feel unqualified or nervous. Others find the thought of reading with their children boring or unimportant. If you want or need some inspiration for reading with your kids, give these websites/blogs a visit. They are the experiences of real dads who enjoy reading with their children:
- Dads Book Reports (coming soon)
You may be interested in further research material on the topic. The following links are just a starting point, but you’ll find information on the benefits for fathers themselves and the social and academic benefits for children. There are certainly some limitations in the research but it is an interesting read.