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Bedtime stories from dad increase child development

Although Gribble's reading may be a little more colorful than his wife's, the most remarkable change is in Caleb's newfound way of communicating. / Donovan Long

A child's path to language development is helped by bedtime stories from dad according to a new study.

A study conducted by Dr. Elisabeth Duursma, of the University of Wollongong, suggests that dads who read to their children at age three, have a major impact on their child's language development a year later.

Josh Gribble, Associate Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church, has a three-year-old son named Caleb.

He reads to Caleb in both English and sometimes in Korean.

"Usually, I read to him every day, lots of times before bed, during the day, more at his schedule than mine," said Gribble. "Believe it not, bible stories are one of his favorites, and he likes books with, I guess, action and interesting things happen," Gribble added.

According to Dr. Duursma, moms have a different impact on child development when reading to their kids.

She said moms focus more on detail and ask children to count objects or identify colors. Dads, on the other hand, tend to use more abstract language and link the stories to the child's own experiences.

"My relationship with my son is much more hands on, much more, I don't know, crazy and adventurous maybe than with mom," said Gribble. "When we read books, it's a little more loud and exciting."

Although Gribble's reading may be a little more colorful than his wife's, the most remarkable change is in Caleb's newfound way of communicating.

"Definitely, the last three or four months, he sort of exploded in vocabulary and his ability to talk and make sentences, instead of just saying one word," said Gribble.

Dr. Theodosia Lovett, psychology professor at Albany Technical College, suggests moms and dad should read to their children. She said both play a vital role in the child's development.

"It increases the language, it increases their cognitive development, it increases their creative abilities and actually introduces them to a world," said Dr. Lovett.

When reading, parents don't only strengthen a child's literacy rates, but according to Dr. Lovett, they form a bond with their child, and that relationship becomes unbreakable.

"It's an excellent bonding time for the family, the child and that parent," said Dr. Lovett. "At the same time, it's teaching them things that we don't actually sometimes realize they're learning," Dr. Lovett added.

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