Here are four tips to promote father-daughter relationships through reading:
Power down. Too much time at a screen–TV, computer, video game, cell phone, etc,–inhibits a daughter’s interest in reading, as well as her ability to read well. Turn off screens, limit screen time, and cut back on the electronic toys. Simple toys (like blocks, crayons, or the cardboard boxes other toys come in) stimulate creative play, social and mental development, and lay a good foundation for reading.
Make time to read yourself. A big chunk of fatherly influence comes from the example that it set for daughters. A father should get into reading himself, and be eclectic—comic books are OK, too! A fathers enjoyment is infectious and triggers his daughters interest.
Show her books. Pictures in a book (or the actual world outside) are far more effective for a toddler’s brain development than any video or TV show. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a total ban on screen time for children under the age of two because it can disrupt healthy brain development. On the other hand, looking at picture books together and reading to her are just about the best things a dad can do for his daughters intellectual and social development.
Go to the library together. Libraries have something for people of every age and background. A father can help turn his daughter onto the joys of wondering the stacks and discovering hidden treasures of books around every corner, no matter how old she is.