Read to child from birth

Rebecca White  |  7/11/2008 1:28:54 AM

Back-to-School News Distributed 07/11/08

The first and most important teachers children have are their parents. It is especially important for parents to read to their baby from birth, according to LSU AgCenter family development professor Dr. Rebecca White.

Parents help children grow, develop and get ready for reading and success in school. Research shows that parents who read to their children help them develop their language, gain information about the world around them and develop social skills and intellectual skills.

White offers several tips for parents when they read to their children.

“These guidelines will help parents help their children to learn and develop a trusting relationship with the most important teacher they will have in their lives,” White said.

– Try to read daily to your preschooler. Your child will learn to recognize your voice and will feel special and cherished.

– As your child grows older, increase daily reading time gradually.

– Choose a quiet place to snuggle up and read.

– Consider reading before bed each evening. A quiet reading time before bed can help your child relax and go to sleep.

– Choose books with high-contrast color images. These are ideal for babies.

– Name, point to and talk about the objects and pictures in the book.

– Expect your baby to touch, feel and taste books while reading. This is how they learn. (Make sure the book is clean.)

– Select small, chunky books that your baby can begin to hold.

– With your help, let your baby try and turn the pages.

– Talk about the pictures in the book. Name the objects, colors and actions.

– Encourage your baby to repeat the words you say.

– Calm your baby with nursery rhymes and songs.

For related youth development topics, visit the family and home link on the LSU AgCenter Web site at For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.


On the Internet: LSU AgCenter:
Contact: Rebecca White at (225) 578-3921 or
Editor: Mark Claesgens at (225) 578-2939 or

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