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Read and be seen: parenting skills for dads

Author James Dunsford
Submitted 02-12-2008

Dads who spend more time reading may encourage their sons to do the same.

That’s according to new parenting advice due to be presented to experts in Australia this week, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Looking at families in the UK, Killian Mullan – a research associate at the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales – found that boys most eager to read were those whose fathers enjoy reading themselves.

A minimum of 50 minutes of daily reading was required to have an identifiable influence on the child, and the father needed to be visible to the child while thumbing through his favorite book or newspaper.

The research confirms a long line of evidence suggesting boys have more difficulty engaging with written material than girls.

Jon Scieszka, children’s author and the U.S. Library of Congress’ national ambassador for children’s books, recently told the Washington Post that boys needed to be enticed with more than simply fiction.
"They’d rather read nonfiction or humor, graphic novels, science fiction, action adventure, audio books, or online reading and magazines," Scieszka was quoted as saying.