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Reading and playing: good for moms and kids

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Posted at 8:18 PM, Jun 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-07 23:30:36-04

ORLANDO, Fla. — Moms are always looking for ways to destress and improve their parenting skills. Now a new study shows participating in hands-on activities with your kids might be a simple way to help foster better behavior.

Reading and playing with your child are more than fun activities. New research shows these interactions may also lead to fewer behavioral problems.

Scientists studied 362 low-income, mostly Latino parents and their kids. They found families who participated in a video interaction project starting when their babies were newborns reported fewer behavior problems when the kids were three. The program encouraged moms to read aloud, play, and use positive parenting behaviors. Researchers say it was a success because it helped moms be more engaged and interactive with their little ones, which led to feeling less stressed about their relationship with their child.

The families who benefited in the study received ongoing support from a specialized trainer who filmed mother-child reading and play sessions at the time of their visits to the pediatrician. Programs like Reach Out and Read, in which doctors provide children’s books and guidance about reading with young children, could have similar effects.