Reading to your child is one of the best ways of strengthening your relationship. Books provide parents fun opportunities to discuss important life lessons and family values with their kids, compared to other shared experiences like watching a film or playing games. Not only that, but reading to your little one can also give them a sense of well-being and intimacy.

Other than being an excellent bonding activity for you and your kid, reading can profoundly develop their cognitive, psychological, and linguistic ability. With that said, let’s explore why the companionship of reading can be so valuable to a child.

Reading enhances your child’s language skills

Creating a daily habit of reading to your child can help them pick up literacy skills and linguistic acquisition ⁠— and it’s best to start this habit early, even if they’re still an infant. An NYU School of Medicine professor notes that reading to young children as early as you can has long-term effects on a child’s language and literacy skills. The reason behind this is because reading to children can stimulate the part of the brain that deals with comprehending language and developing literacy and social skills, even if they can’t exactly form words on their own just yet.

Reading helps with your child’s mental wellbeing

Reading can impact positively on your child’s mental health, especially since Health Direct notes that 1 in 7 Australian kids aged 4-17 experience mental health disorders. Reading to them as an activity can be an escape from the pressure they feel at school or daily life, and subsequently help them calm down.

Maryville University even cites valuable connections between mental health and learning success, which is why it’s important to look after a child’s psychological wellbeing. If not, then their mental health issues can seep into adulthood. Doctors from the University of London and Australian National University note that targeting these issues early on through activities that encourage a healthy mental wellbeing (like reading) can help reduce the impact of mental health issues throughout your child’s life.

Reading prepares your child for academic success

Since reading to your child can help them develop better language and reading skills before they start their formal education, they might be able to do better in school than kids who didn’t have this experience. Parents who involve themselves in their kid’s reading experiences help develop the models and manners that their kid needs to be successful, according to psychologist Nicole Alston-Abel from the University of Washington. Despite not being able to understand and practice phonics at a young age, young kids who are able to read will get an introduction to reading comprehension and phonetics, giving them a higher chance to perform better when they start attending school.

In order to form a habit of reading to your little one every day, our post on ‘Nurturing Your Children to Become Lifelong Readers’ emphasises that you should establish a quick 15-minute routine to try and integrate reading to you and your kid’s daily activities. By doing this, you can help nurture your relationship with your child and also help them develop the key skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

Written by Reese Jones for