Why it is important for Dads to read stories

The latest issue of Literacy Lava came across my Twitter feed in a tweet from tessadad. In it is an excellent article called Story Time with Dad by Kelly Burstow about the importance of Father’s reading stories aloud to their kids. In the article, Kelly quotes from Jim Trealease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, who says:

Fathers should make an extra effort to read to their children. Because the vast majority of primary-school teachers are women, young boys often associate reading with women and schoolwork. And just as unfortunate, too many fathers would rather be seen playing catch in the driveway with their sons than taking them to the library.

I do the vast majority of bedtime reading with my kids. I enjoy the time that I get to spend with them at the end of each day. And it reconnects me to my childhood. I loved reading, and I love the opportunity to connect my kids with the books I loved as a kid. It reminds me that at one time of my life I read as entertainment – to escape – as opposed to today where I often read to understand. Balance the time crunch of being a full-time working parent with the demands of a Masters program, and reading for escape and pleasure has taken a back seat in my life for the past few years. So when I get a chance to read The Littles or the Magic Tree House to my kids each night, I relish the fact that, for a few brief moments every day, I get to share a moment with them and escape with them into another world, a temporary distraction from the hectic reality of life.

2 responses to “Why it is important for Dads to read stories

  1. An excellent point. I try to read as much as possible to my kids. Sometimes it's hard to get my 2yo boy to sit still long enough to be read to, but I do try.
    My recent post Getting my kids to eat

    • I hear ya. it's hard to get a 2 yr old boy to sit still for anything, let alone rad a book. One of the things we do is let the kids pick what they want to read, and try to provide books that are about things they are into. For my son it's superheroes and robots, and, lately, Vikings & dragons, after watching How to Train Your Dragon. Plus we have made it part of the bedtime routine, consistently everyday since they were both born. Making part of their routine, even when they don't seem into it early on, pays off big time when they start hitting 3 or 4 years old.