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5 reasons why you should read to your children

3 ways to teach your child to be a good friend

It’s undeniable, that a child’s reading skills are critical to their success in school, work, and life in general. You can help ensure your child’s success by reading to them starting at a very early age but, did you know, the benefits of reading to your children go far beyond literacy skills?

Here are five reasons why you should read to your children:

1. To support their cognitive development

Reading to young children has been shown to improve cognitive skills and contribute to cognitive development. Cognitive development is the development of knowledge, skills, problem-solving and character that helps children think and understand the world around them.

According to recent research from the Department of Education, Victoria. Parental reading to children increases the child’s reading and other cognitive skills at least up to the age of 10–11. This is an early-life intervention that seems to be beneficial for the rest of their lives.

2. Improved language skills

From infancy, reading to young children every day helps improve language acquisition, communication skills, social skills, and literacy. This is because reading to children in the first few months stimulates the part of the brain that makes them understand the meaning of language and helps develop important language, reading and social skills.

A recent brain scan study (TIME.com) found that “reading at home with children from an early age was strongly correlated with brain activation in areas connected with visual imagery and understanding the meaning of language”

3. Strengthens your relationship

Reading a favourite book to your child will not only help you bond with them, but it will also give your child a sense of intimacy and well-being. This intimacy helps your child feel close to you, and feelings of love and attention foster growth and development.

Reading to your children regularly can help you build stronger relationships with them. One of the most important things you can do with your child is to spend time with them to positively impact their development. Reading to your child is a great opportunity to create a regular activity together that you can look forward to spending time together. When reading together, your child trusts and expects you to be there for them. The importance of trust to young children cannot be overemphasized.

4. Encourages creativity

Young children are born with the ability to dream big and use their imagination. Reading aloud to your child will help them use their imagination to explore people, places, times and events beyond their own experience. Reading as an imaginative activity can open doors to all kinds of new worlds for your child. By expanding your child's imagination, your child is more likely to have bigger dreams and creative actions that are good for school, work, and life in the future.

5. Creates a love of reading

According to Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook: “Every time we read to a child, we’re sending a ‘pleasure’ message to the child’s brain… You could even call it a commercial, conditioning the child to associate books and print with pleasure”

Reading is the key to lifelong learning, and if you can nurture a love of reading from an early age, a commitment to lifelong learning will surely follow. Reading aloud sees books as a source of pleasant, rewarding, and exciting experiences. Children who value books are motivated to read independently and are likely to continue practising independent reading for the rest of their lives.


Visit our Parenting HUB | For more tips and practical advice on building positive relationships with your child.

The resources in our Parenting HUB are put together by our family specialists who work with families across Sydney every day.  If you would like to know more about this topic, please fill in our 'Contact Us' form and we'll get in touch.  You can also call our professional Parent Line NSW counsellors on 1300 1300 52 for individual advice.

Disclaimer: This article does not give professional advice.  The contents constitute general information of a summary nature of interest and relevance at the time of publication. You should not rely on the contents as professional advice but should seek, formal advice in particular matters relevant to your particular situation

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