Reading is one of the most valuable gifts we parents can give to our children—and the importance of reading for children cannot be overstated. Not only does reading foster a range of essential life-skills and strengthen the connection between parent and child, but research has demonstrated the overwhelmingly positive effect that reading has on a child’s development.
A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics compared children who rarely or never read for pleasure to those who read for over thirty minutes a day. The results were staggering—with children who read every day performing better on tests of language, literary, and even math skills. The research further indicated that these benefits were ultimately far greater in terms of educational attainment.
Of course, reading is also an excellent opportunity to facilitate a bond between parent and child. Whether it was sharing bedtime stories with your own parents as a child or reading aloud with your own kids today, the time spent together often carries a child’s imagination far and wide in a way that nothing else can.
In addition to fostering language and cognitive development, reading can also provide children with an avenue for escape and personal exploration. With the right book, a child can be inspired to ponder the bigger questions in life or to see the world in an entirely new way. In other words, reading encourages a child to develop the kind of inquisitive and open-minded attitude that will be essential to their success, both in the classroom and in life.
At the end of the day, far more rests on the importance of reading for children than we might initially realize. The combination of educational, social and emotional benefits that reading provides can—and should—give all of us reason to encourage children to pick up a book from time to time. Thankfully, with a wealth of resources available in libraries, bookstores, and online sources, finding the perfect noise for them should be a breeze.