The Importance of Reading To And With Your Kids-MainPhoto

The Importance of Reading With Kids

Your child hops off the school bus, you walk him inside, and he immediately races to the TV set to play some video games. It may be easier at times to let him enjoy his PlayStation so you can get other tasks done, but the monumental long-term benefits of reading with kids are critical.

Read Related: The Importance of Reading to Your Children

As we celebrate National Reading Day on March 3, we are reminded of the value of reading to help develop your child’s creativity and intelligence. At the same time, reading with kids daily is a major way to build a strong connection with them. All parents can benefit from learning about why reading is integral for a child. Here is why replacing his remote control with a book can truly change your child’s life.

  • Understanding of language. Research has shown that the most important thing parents can do to help their children learn and understand language is to read to them. Have them repeat certain words and phrases back as you read aloud. It helps them gain a stronger grasp of pronunciation, rhythm of speech, and builds self-confidence in their speaking voice.

  • Good quality one-on-one time with your child. When you read to or with your child, you are in close proximity, building a bond and strengthening the friendship and love between the two of you. You touch your child more, give your child more affection, share more nonverbal communication, and you create memories that will stay with them into adulthood.

  • It opens the lines of communication. Whether it simply starts a conversation with a child who may be difficult to relate to, or it allows you to tackle some of the tougher topics involved in the stages of growing up, reading together opens those lines and gets the conversation flowing. When you read together, you become a safe person to ask questions to and get advice from, and your child will look to you as a leader and example to follow.

  • It keeps you in touch with your children. When your kids are young, you will choose the books, but as he grows old enough, let him decide what you read to him. The stories may be simple and you may have read them a million times, but letting your child chose will allow you to stay tuned into subjects that he likes, and not to mention what he is reading. You will have more to relate to and a better idea of his interests and what is going on in his life. It can help you connect with him on a different level as you learn more about what inspires him as an individual.

  • Reading aloud helps develop a child’s imagination. With no television to look at, and no words to struggle through, your children have nothing to do but listen and let their imaginations flow. Having that creative capacity makes for a moldable adult who can handle a variety of social situations and excel in any field he or she chooses a career in.

  • They will know you care. Yes—your children will learn to read earlier, have a stronger vocabulary and become better writers if they read more, but they will also know that they are loved and cared for by attentive parents. Their self-esteem and confidence will grow, you will have a stronger bond with them, and they will feel safe and loved. All of these outcomes will shape them to be strong and capable adults with positive outlooks and bright futures.

Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, is the founder of Daddy & Co. (formerly Daddyscrubs), a gift and apparel company dedicated to celebrating fatherhood. He also provides a father’s perspective on his DailyDaddy blog with topics such as bonding with your child and what the father should expect during pregnancy and infancy. In addition, he contributes his parenting expertise to national talk shows and daytime television shows and as a syndicated columnist. For more information, please visit