Why Reading is Important for Your Children

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on April 10, 2012 4:33 pm

The benefits of reading to children is severalfold.  As young children, we are comforted by the calm voices of our parents and the physical contact received while being read to.  The initiation of reading develops a bond between parent and child.   

As your children develops,  you can introduce them to picture books, nursery rhymes, easy readers, and various transition books, which help expose them to many academic, psychological, and life principles. 


A major area of concern in today’s society, is the phenomenologically increase or lack of parental-child attachment. We live in a society that has become so technologically savvy, that we are beginning to loose our personal intimacy with one another.   

Attachment begins in the early stages of development.  It is an emotional and physical interconnection that occurs when mother and/or father and child have an opportunity to bond.  The bonding occurs through physical touch, comforting, playing, verbal and nonverbal communication, and intentional and/or unintentional affection. 

The benefit of reading is that you are purposefully paying attention.  You are offering a gentle voice and soothing embrace while reading your chosen literature.  Therefore, children have a greater propensity of bonding with their parental caregiver.  


Reading aloud with children provides them both the auditory, as well as, the visual recognition of the human language.   When we read aloud to young children, we should intentionally be enthusiastic, engaging, interactive, interesting, seeking to captivate their childlike imagination. 

“Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world.” (RIF, 2012, Online)  It is our imagination that facilitates new ideas, explorations, concepts, images, problem solving, critical thinking, and the very essence of the human potential. (RIF, 2012, Field, 2010)

According to the American Association of School Librarians, reading aloud to children offers the following benefits:

Children’s self-esteem grows as they experience the security of having a parent or other caring person read aloud with them.

Children experience increased communication with parents and other family members.

Children are introduced to new concepts such as colors, shapes, numbers, and alphabet, in a fun, age appropriate way.

Children build listening skills vocabulary, memory, and language skills.

Children develop imagination and creativity.

Children learn information about the world around them.

Children develop individual interests in special subjects like dinosaurs, cats, or cars.

Children learn positive behavior patterns and social values.

Children learn positive attitudes towards themselves and others.

Children learn the joy of reading!   (AASL, 2012, Online)


Reading is a source of liberation.  Children who are taught to read early on, are commonly taught to communicate in other significant verbal and nonverbal ways.    

Reading exposes children early on to communicative language.   This early exposure to language could be considered a preventive force.  If a child knows how to clearly express and communicate, then if a need arises, they will have a greater chance of vocalizing and expressing such need. 

When parents read with their children, they are fostering the bonds of healthy interpersonal relationships.  The benefits of reading are unequivocally positive.


When there is a failure to read, there is an increase probability of life challenges.  Research has shown statistically those who are incarcerated have a higher probability of being functionally illiterate, completely illiterate, and those having a variety of learning disorders is remarkable. (PPI, 2012; EDJJ, 2012) “Illiteracy and under-literacy among children is a serious public health problem… It is well-documented that dropping out of school is, in turn, a risk factor for substance abuse, involvement in violent activity, teen pregnancy, and other poor health practices.” (Silverstein, Iverson, & Lozano, 2002, et. al., p. 1)

While learning to read decreases the chances of antisocial behaviors, it cannot be blamed for all behaviors that are egregious in nature. Nevertheless, there is clear evidence that those in prison have a higher probability of having some sort of academic, psychological, and sociological problem.  “Higher levels of literacy are associated with lower rates of juvenile delinquency, re-arrest, and recidivism.” (EDJJ, 2012, Online)

The failure of learning to read is not a guarantee that someone will live a life of crime.  In fact, there have been many individuals to live lives filled with prosperity, fruitfulness, familial stability, and clear abundance of finances and lifestyles.  

Individuals who have lacked the skills of reading have gone on to be pioneers of technology, industry, and business.  Sir Richard Branson is one example of an individual who had challenges with reading, because of a brain-based type of learning disorder called, Dyslexia.  Nevertheless, Sir Branson’s obstacles and personal nemesis became his personal roadmap to success. While Sir Richard Branson had challenges with reading, he is an exceptional example of someone who overcame his difficulties with reading.  


It is never too late to learn to read!!!   While the foundations of reading are laid in the formative years of development; it’s basic principles can be learned at any age.  Since “reading is a prerequisite for almost all cultural and social activities,” (Moore, et. al., 1999, p. 3), it is important that we lay down our pride and begin learning the written art of communication. 

For communication is the pathway to liberation. Even if, the written language feels like your own personal set of hieroglyphics;  it is never too late to learn to master.   


 American Association of School Librarians, AASL (2012) How school librarians can assist you: Reading with your children. http://www.ala.org/aasl/aboutaasl/aaslcommunity/quicklinks/el/elread

Clark, C. & Rumbold, K. (2006) Reading for pleasure: A research overview Retrieved April 7, 2012 from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/collateral_resources/pdf/i/Reading_for_pleasure.pdf   National Literacy Trust

Fields, J. (2010) How to grow new brain cells and outwit competitors. Retrieved April 8, 2012 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/awake-the-wheel/201006/how-grow-new-brain-cells-and-outwit-competitors   PsychologyToday

Golova, N., Alario, A. J., Vivier, P. M., Rodriguez, M., & High, P. C. (1999) Literacy promotion for Hispanic families in a primary care setting: A randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics 103 (5), 993-997

The National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice, EDJJ (2012) Juvenille correctional education programs; The case for quality education in juvenile correctional facilities. Retrieved April 8, 2012 from http://www.edjj.org/focus/education/

Moore, D.W., Bean, T.W., Birdyshaw, D. & Rycik, J. (1999). Adolescent literacy: A position statement. International Reading Association.

Prison Policy Initiative, PPI, (2012) Education as crime prevention, Providing education to prisoners. Retrieved April 7, 2012 from http://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/research_brief__2.pdf

Reading is Fundamental, RIF, (2012) Reach out and read for parents and educators. Retrieved April 8, 2012, from http://www.reachoutandread.org/parents/readingaloud/research.aspx

Silverstein, M., Iverson, L., & Lozano, P. (2002) An English-Language clinic-based literacy program is effective for a multilingual population.  Pediatrics 109 (5), 1-6

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

23 comments on “Why Reading is Important for Your Children”

  1. Your site is very good, I liked the information. Grateful. 56031533

  2. Congratulations on the content. Interesting.. 98268206

  3. Great stuff,thank you for sharing it.

  4. Laura-Lee says:

    books,out loud stories
    time is what i think about
    love=postive self essteem
    they are important due to the time you as a caregiver have set aside just for them.
    which gives that child a great foundation for learning and life.thanks for writing this aricle it inspires me to get involed with books for babies once again.Lori

    1. Dear Lori,

      I am sincerely appreciative of your time and feedback. I am apologetic for the delayed response. We have been experiencing some difficulties with our system’s notification.

      Nevertheless, you are correct that reading can inspire and offer a “child a great foundation for learning and life.” It is of the utmost importance.

      Again, thank you for your time and feedback.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  5. Monny Peggy says:

    I read this article and enjoyed it very much. I have alwsys enjoyed reading and wish more people would encourage their children to read, In fact some adults could benefit from reading more as well.

    1. Dear Monny Peggy,

      I sure appreciate your time and feedback. It too “wish more people would encourage their children to read.” It not only opens many academic doors, but it helps a children to develop many aspects of their intellect. Furthermore, it is helpful for positively influencing a child’s perspective of the world too.

      May you have a truly blessed day.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  6. Paige Gatton says:

    Nice article, too bad all teachers and parents won’t see this article and take it to heart but I will definitely pass it on.

    1. Dear Paige Gatton,

      Thank you for taking to share and read my latest article. I agree, I think the services that the CCPA is offering through this forum is a real benefit for so many.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      May you have a truly blessed day.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  7. Sally Rucker says:

    I hope to see more articles from you Doctor Brown. I love that reading is coming back as an option for our children and grandchildren and taking them away from the negative things they see on the tube. Children need to be encouraged to read and they will discover for them selves the joy and adventure in doing so. Once they discover it can open up an entire new world of suspense and fantasy they will love it and it has so many benefits in the long run.

    1. Dear Sally Rucker,

      I am sincerely appreciative of your time and feedback. I agree that “children need to be encouraged to read… (and that ) once they discover it (it) can open up an entire new world of suspense and fantasy…” Furthermore, reading is not only beneficial for the creative mind or the academic mind, but the physical mind itself. A great deal of research has shown how reading can have a positive effect upon the organic brain.

      I am sincerely appreciative of your time and feedback.

      May you have a truly blessed day.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  8. Martha Davis says:

    Thank you for the article Dr. Brown I find it very important to point out to parents and care givers as well the importance of reading in our life.

    1. Dear Martha Davis,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my latest article. I agree that it is vitally important that parents take time out for their children.

      May you have a truly blessed day.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  9. Pat Lingholt says:

    I told my adult daughter about this article & she responded that her favorite book that I read to her when she was young was Goldilocks & that sometime she would fall asleep before the book was finished. It was a special bonding time for her to remember after all these years. I am now reading a book to my elderly mother who is an avid reader but because of an eyesight problem hasn’t been able to read lately & she tells everyone how much she enjoys it. I think your article is well thought out & that spending time reading & using the imagination & the calming voice shows that a person is cared about & creates a memory for them to hold on to as well as teaches the love of reading which is a useful tool to carry with you through higher education & all aspects of life. Thanks for your insight on this subject ,Asa.

    1. Dear Pat Lingholt,

      Thank you for taking the time to reply to my latest article. One of the most rewarding aspects about being a parents, is the capability of being part of our children’s lives. Whether we are reading to our children or we are simply sharing in a conversation, it is the opportunity to bond that we will cherish and will help us maintain a healthy relationship with our children.

      Pat, I think it is commendable that you have sacrificially offered yourself not only to your children, but to the life of your mother. Furthermore, I wholeheartedly agree that a part of reading to our loved ones is the tone, pitch, and the intention behind our reading time.

      Pat, thank you for sharing your personal story.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  10. Reading is an essential part of life, too bad many parents do not realize this fact. I am grateful for people such as yourself for articles promoting this “lost” form of entertainment for children and even adults.

    1. Dear Caroline Collins,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my latest article. It is “too bad that many parents do not realize the fact,… (that) reading is an essential part of life.” It is individuals like yourself that will make a difference.

      I am sincerely appreciative of your time and feedback.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  11. Tracy says:

    Thank you Dr Brown for exploring this topic. One of the big highlights of my days is the time I share reading to my daughters. Unfortunately the pace of life makes it difficult to always have the time. I appreciate that you have pointed out that we as parents need to make time. Reading is such a beneficial process for both the child and parent. Bonding develops and grows and your child’s mental, social and language skills excel.

    It is amazing to consider how far a strong reader can go in life…

    Thanks again for encouraging families to read…


    1. Dear Tracy,

      I am certainly appreciative of your time and the recent review of my latest article. I wholeheartedly agree that “one of the big highlights of my days is the time I share reading to my daughters.” I also agree that become a stronger reader offers many opportunities in life.
      Again, thank you for taking the time to reply to my latest article.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  12. Leah says:

    I know reading is beneficial to children and I am so glad to see you wrote an article on the topic of reading. I was not brought up being read to or encouraged to do so, because of this I believe it made learning for me a little more difficult. i eventually caught up in school after my elementary years but, it would have been much easier in those primary years to have reading instilled in me.
    I read to my children in their young years but because it was not introduced to me as an important part of life I never encouraged it when they were older and could read on their own. I have 2 of my four children who enjoy reading, 2 who read due to their choice of careers so they ended up in the right place.
    This article should be passed around throughout the school system and sent home to all parents. I am sure there are others like myself that were not brought up with the love for reading much less the advantage and necessity.
    Thank you Dr. Asa Brown for writing this article. It was a pleasure to find and to read.
    Sincerely, Leah Brown

    1. Dear Leah Brown,

      Thank you for taking the time to review and comment on my latest article.
      It is unfortunate that the value of reading is not offered to every child, but the truth is reading is not. Sadly, with the invention of many electronic devices, the emphasis on reading is becoming less and less. Therefore, it is up to us to encourage others to read, as well as, harnessing within our own beings the need and merit of reading.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to reply to my latest article.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  13. Deborah Pickering says:

    Good Day Dr. Brown,

    This is a very interesting article and I could not agree more about the importance of learning how to read. Communication with others and comprehension of what others say to us are sklls whose basis is in language.

    I really enjoyed hearing you describe the physical, as well as emotional, bond developed between parents and their children through the process of reading together.
    I remember reading with my daughter as much as possible when she was a child. It turned out that my daughter did not enjoy reading books and often that is the case. When I was a child I loved reading (and still do) and a new book was like being given a pot of gold, yet my two siblings are not avid readers, like my daughter. My parents and I still read all the time.

    I must comment on one point that was a different experience for me in comparison to what you have written here regarding the physical contact. My personal experience was quite different from that. It makes me chuckle actually because in these times many parents use TV and other electronic devices to entertain their children. During my childhood we were told to ‘go read a book’. The comparison I make is that both of the above activities for children are accomplished alone, without the participation or contact with parents. That’s what makes me chuckle, some things don’t change over time, only the methods used.

    So I still agree with what you have told us regarding the importance of learning to read and the value of family members reading together. I believe this is an important message to convey to as many people as possible, especially parents. As you have stated “It’s never too late”!
    Thanks Dr.Brown, I do really enjoy this topic.
    Sincerely, Deb P.

    1. Dear Deb P.

      I am appreciative of your thoughtful review and your time. Admittedly, I must agree that I too love reading, “(and I too consider)… a new book …like (I was) being give a pot of gold…” Reading not only offers us doors unto other worlds, but it has an ability to offer positive strategies to make our world work more smoothly.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to reply to my latest article.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

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