Did you “Go Blue” on April 1? April has been designated Child Abuse and Prevention Month, and thousands of Alaskans participated in Go Blue Day to call attention to our state’s high rate of child abuse and neglect – and what we can do to support families and lower that rate.
But concern about this issue and action to change it isn’t just for one month. This must be a year-round, years-long effort. There are useful and impactful ideas for your family, for friends and neighbors, and for your community listed under Ways to Make a Difference here.
Spending as few as 15 minutes a day sharing or reading a book with a child can go a long way to help, too.
There is little question that reading with young children is beneficial to their brain development and social emotional learning. A new study goes a step further to suggest that shared reading is also associated with less harsh parenting and better child behavior. It makes sense that a shared time spent in close together with books that provide a natural chance to talk would support the bond between a caregiver and child. It seems this bond in turn supports the relationship between caregiver and child in times of adult stress or child misbehavior. Specifically, the study found:
- “While harsh disciplinary practices can be difficult to prevent, we found that shared reading, a simple parent-child routine, was consistently associated with reductions in later harsh parenting, in part through a reduction in child disruptive behaviors.
- Our finding that shared reading was associated with less harsh parenting at a critical stage of child development provides additional support for the AAP recommendation to promote early shared reading.”
Read the full study here.
Reading with your child can take place almost anywhere and anytime!