Reading Aloud Linked to Reduced Parental Stress

BY Rachel Cagle
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"The value of reading to our kids — for them and us — is reinforced by the growing body of research on the topic. Just last week, a meta-​analysis of 19 studies published in the journal Pediatrics found that reading aloud was significantly beneficial to children and their parents," David Allan writes for CNN.

"In most of the studies — which involved more than 3,000 families — the parents were assessed as well as their kids, and reading aloud appeared to strengthen parents' feelings of competence, improve the quality of their relationships with their children and even reduce parental stress or depression."

"Reading aloud to children improves a young mind's cognitive development (thinking, problem-​solving, decision-​making) and reduces behavior problems, research shows. As with playing board games, reading to them increases concentration and attention spans. Reading aloud even outperforms conversation when it comes to exposure to vocabulary and advancing a child's literacy."

"And yet, too many of us stop before the kids want us to. In Australia, more than a third of children aged 6 to 11 whose parents had stopped reading to them wanted to continue."

Continuing to read to children can be a great way to achieve more quality family time. The newest AudienceSCAN survey showed 24.5% of Americans set personal goals to spend more time with their families this year.

"Improving a child's reading skills and cognitive ability is important to their success in school, work and life. "If you are going to get anywhere in life," Roald Dahl is credited with saying, "you have to read a lot of books."

"The conversations children have around themes and ideas in books help them make sense of the world. And it's a joyful way to connect and be close with your kid. While reading in bed, my daughters and I lie next to each other, sometimes leaning into one other. We laugh and are surprised together and have deep conversations sparked by the novels. It's as high a quality as quality time gets."

Bookstores and libraries can promote the benefits of family reading time in direct mail. The latest AudienceSCAN study found 40% of Family Time Seekers took action based on the ads/​coupons in their mailboxes.

"If you've stopped reading to your kids and it feels like that era is over, don't close the book on it forever. Try to bring it back. Maybe don't make it a ritual, in this case. Ask whether you can read them something short (maybe funny too) as one-​offs. Try to sneak it in. Maybe wait until they're sick and read them the book they're reading to themselves for pleasure or school.
Or model reading to your partner and point out that, as my daughter put it, "Everyone likes to be read to." Reading aloud to another is like a personal audiobook! Nothing baby-​ish about that. In fact, it's how my wife falls asleep many nights."

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.