Reading from an early age improves learning and relationship skills. We asked Alberto Pellai, a developmental psychotherapist, for some advice
We have often talked about the importance of reading in the pre-school age. Before learning to do it independently, children need to be accompanied towards a habit that will remain fundamental during their lives. To devote space and time to reading, one begins as a child.
McDonald's Italy is convinced that it has decided to also give books (and no longer just games) to children who will choose a Happy Meal.
On the occasion of the presentation of the Happy Meal Readers project, we explored the premises and theme with Alberto Pellai, a developmental psychotherapist
Can you explain why it is important to read (a lot and regularly) books to children?
Because it helps them from all points of view in their growth. Improves the relationship between parent and child, as shared reading is a strong reinforcer of the intimate bond between adult and child. It improves the child's emotional competence, because it allows him to confront the emotions present in the stories he reads and to identify himself with the emotional states of the characters present in them. Moreover, it improves readiness (readiness) for entering school, enhancing the child's ability to express, understand and pre-read.
"Books develop learning skills, emotional education and support growth", three things that are very dear to mothers and fathers
Mothers and fathers today are very attentive not only to the knowledge and know-how of their children, but also to their knowing how to be. As I have already pointed out in the answer to the previous question, reading is a strong enhancer and stimulator of all three of these dimensions. The Happy Meal Readers research conducted by Kantar Italia has highlighted how much love, passion and competence Italian parents have "understood" this message and are putting it into practice in the lives of their children.
Do you have any particular advice for parents on books? Better fairy tales or true stories? Is it better to spend the afternoon or evening before falling asleep?
Be adults yourself good readers: children learn what they live. Make books in your home easily accessible to children: not on tall shelves or behind cupboard doors. When you share experiences that require long waiting or suspension (restaurant, pediatric visit, hospitalization, train and air travel) bring good books with you to deceive the wait and entertain the child. Insert the books into rituals, such as those of the bedtime and those of the weekend (for example in the morning, calmly on the sofa). All books are good, but if your child has a strong propensity for a specific genre, never leave him without books that touch on themes dear to him. Finally, on the occasion of your child's and friends' birthday parties, choose one
book as a gift.
3 million books for children distributed in a year throughout Italy: this is the goal of McDonald's Italia with Happy Meal Readers, the project that for the first time offers the possibility of choosing a book instead of the classic game within the Happy Meal. The initiative is part of McDonald's wider commitment to families, which translates into the introduction of substantial innovations in the offer of products and services dedicated to them.
In line with this priority, from March 2019 all children in Italy can choose a book with their own Happy Meal. It is an unpublished series of twelve stories written by the famous English children's author Cressida Cowell, full of adventures, emotions and fun. The series encourages children to cultivate the pleasure of reading and to create moments of sharing with families. Two new titles will be available every eight weeks to choose from.