Mums better at reading bedtime stories and developing child's emotional skills

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 30, 2013 10:00 hrs

Mums are better at developing their child's emotional skills because they tell more heartfelt stories, a new study suggests.

Although talking is not an area where ability is usually considered along gender lines, scientists say there are subtle differences between the sexes in their story-relating ability and the act of reminiscing, the Telegraph repeated.

Previous research has found parents reminiscing with their kids enables them to interpret experiences and weave together the past, present and future.

There is also evidence that parents elaborate less when talking to sons than daughters.

Researchers studied 42 families with children who were four or five-years-old.

Parents were asked to reminisce about four past emotional experiences of the child - happy, sad, a conflict with a peer and a conflict with a parent - and two past play interactions they experienced together.

The parents took turns talking to the child on separate visits in the study.

Results showed mums elaborate more when reminiscing with their children than dads do, and there is no difference in the extent parents elaborate on a story depending on the sex of the child.

Mums tend to include more emotional terms in the story than dads, which they then discussed and explained to the child - communicating the importance of their version, perspective and feelings about the experience.

The researchers from the University of Central Florida and Emory University, both in the United States, said that through their increased interaction with their kids, mums are helping them work through and talk about experiences more than dads.

The study is published in Springer's journal Sex Roles. (ANI)

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