Dads are top of the pops!
By Words for Life
It’s official: dads are top of the pops in their children’s lives! Sunday 17th June is Father’s Day, and here’s some good news for dads: you are key to how successful and happy your child is, and the research proves it! Not only will children of involved dads have better relationships with their fathers, they are also more likely to do well at school, be happier, more secure and have fewer behaviour problems
Of course a great way for dads to spend time with their children and build bonding time into every day is to set aside time for reading stories and discussing them together.
A book at bedtime
Most children love being read to. It’s not just about the story; it’s also about curling up and spending special quiet time with you, without interruptions. You can enjoy board books with babies and younger children, and longer stories with older kids. By taking ten minutes or more out of your busy day you are not only helping them with their literacy but are also telling them that you love them and that spending time together matters. What a lovely thought before going to sleep!
You don’t have to be Brad Pitt
If you cringe at the thought of reading aloud you’re not alone. Many people think that they have to act like Brad Pitt to read a story to their child but they are interested in the time you spend with them more than whether you can do a brilliant American accent. Take a look at the tips for reading aloud on the Words for Life website. You may find, as your confidence grows, that you start having fun with all the different characters’ voices and no one will be able to stop you!
Set the example...
We all know how much kids copy their parents, and boys especially are influenced by what their dads get up to. Make sure they see you reading, and in copying you your children will gain confidence and get to be great readers too. It doesn’t have to be just books, the newspaper or a magazine, a book or a recipe are all good things to read too. And if your child loves reading comics, then that can be a great gateway into the world of literature.
Read something you both enjoy
There is no need to feel that you have to stick to classic books – choose subjects that you and your child both enjoy. For example, if you love football and are reading the sports pages, share this with your child – boy or girl. Explain what the articles are about and read one aloud if you want to. Let them ask you questions about it and ask them their opinion too. Check out this page for lots of great football ideas and activities to do with both boys and girls to get you started.
It's never too early to start
Just because your baby can’t talk yet, doesn’t mean they are too young to enjoy books. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you can having reading together, and how absorbed your baby can get in a picture book. It’s a great way for dads to spend time with their little ones and share a cuddle with their babies too. Point out the pictures and encourage your baby to babble away – they’ll be talking before you know it.
Read it again, Sam
Although grown-ups might like something new, children love to hear a good story again and again. Plus, repeating actually helps to build your child’s language, so don't worry if they're hooked on one book. It’s ideal if you can find a regular slot to read with your child, whether at weekends or after work. That way your children know they have some special time with dad to look forward to.
Dads benefit too!
Your children aren’t the only ones who will benefit from reading time with their dads, you will also be getting something good out of it, too. Research has shown that dads who get involved with their children’s life have better confidence and self-esteem, improve their own literacy skills, and best of all, enjoy a better relationship with their children!
For more ideas, tips and fun activities to do with your kids visit www.wordsforlife.org.uk