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The Important Relationship Between Reading and Child Development

The Important Relationship Between Reading and Child Development

Sally Collins | The Children’s Book Review | June 19, 2017

What is the most important quality that you hope your child develops? If you are like most of us, intelligence is high on that list. We all want our children to be bright, smart, and have the best advantage to succeed in the world. Therefore, we put so much effort into choosing the right schools. But did you know that as a parent, you have the power to improve your child’s learning and development? To do this, you simply have to make books an important part of their life.

Reading is Fundamental

“Reading is Fundamental.” That was not just a clever slogan from the 1980s. It is understood that reading and early literacy is the single most important predictor of success not only in academics but also in life. The problem is that once a child falls behind in reading, so does their development. Furthermore, studies show that children who fall behind in reading are unlikely ever to catch up. While reading remediation offers some hope for children struggling to read, prevention is key.

How Early Reading Influences Child Development

The primary reason to read to your kids is to foster a love of books and therefore a love of learning in them. However, there are many more benefits that can be derived by introducing your child to books. Here are a few:


Numerous studies show that kids who are exposed to reading early in life perform better in all aspects of formal education.


Your child is learning language and enunciation skills, by listening to you read. Pretend reading, when a toddler flips through a book chattering nonsensical sounds and words is an important sign indicating pre-literacy and readiness to start sounding out words and learning speech.


Studies conducted between 2006 and 2009 showed that people who read a lot of fiction are better at empathizing with others. There are also suggestions that reading may assist in relieving anxiety and depression, which can be an important tool in beating mental health conditions.


Research shows that early reading has been linked to a better understanding of language rules, as they reach school age.

Concentration and Discipline

Toddlers will probably squirm and get a little distracted during reading time, but the older they get, they will learn to stay put. This improves reading comprehension abilities, stronger self-discipline, improved attention spans, and better retention.

Logical Thinking

Children exposed to early literacy, more quickly grasp abstract concepts and apply logic. They better recognize cause and effect and tend to utilize better judgment.

Reading has the power to impact your child’s development in many ways. As parents, it is important to begin reading to our kids and exposing them to literacy early on. This is one of most essential things you can do to give them a foundation for life success and academic excellence.

This article, The Important Relationship Between Reading and Child Development, was written by Sally Collins. Sally Collins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible. Discover more articles and books by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with , , , and

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The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by a guest author.

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