Another Study Says You Should Read to Children

Another Study Says You Should Read to Children
MedicineNet distributes health and medical information provided by doctors via various newsletters. The featured article in the Children's Health and Parenting newsletter for April 7, 2018, was about reading to your children.

The article begins:

Parents who read to their infants and toddlers may help them develop skills that pay big dividends when they start school, a new study suggests.

A new study? Reading to children is certainly nothing new. I thought that the benefits of reading to a child were or are so well-known that one would not think a study would be necessary.

But there have been so many write-ups and reports about the negative and even damaging effects of technology on children, especially how tech toys and tools adversely impact their social skills and how they don't know how to behave among real people because they have become accustomed to a virtual reality.

I am guessing that pediatricians and others who participated in this study thought it was needful to show proof of the positive behavioral impact that results from reading to children. 675 families took part in a program which ran from birth to age 3 where the adult caretakers read (and also played) with the children.

The children were evaluated 18 months later after the program had ended and it turns out they were well-behaved and paid attention. It is said that they maintained the behavior and attention skills they gained during the program.

Not sure why anybody would be surprised at the results of the study.

Also not sure why anybody needed to be convinced that reading to a child has an extremely positive impact on their psychological, emotional and social development.

  • If you are a parent or grandparent or someone tasked with the responsibility of caring for young children (infants and toddlers), do you read to the children?

  • If you don't, do you at least make books available and perhaps encourage their siblings or others to read to them?

    • *

Reinberg, Steven. Reading to Your Kids Might Boost Their Social Skills. ~ MedicineNet, MedicineNet, Inc., 7 Apr. 2018,

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I never had the privilege of my parents reading to me especially during bedtime periods before going to sleep but I know of the benefits it comes with and I would never miss a day without reading to my kids before they go to sleep. It helps works on their subconscious mind as they sleep in making them not have horrible nightmares.
Posted by Martinsx on 07-17-2018
Yeah I agree with you. That is one of the reason why I love my parents hanging in my room when it is my bed time. I feel safer and out of so much horrible nightmares.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 07-17-2018
The mind plays a huge trick on any individual, and if you can find a way to trick the mind into thinking what you want it to think especially when it's children minds, it's most likely to go according to plan. This is a very good reason why reading loving fairly tales stories to kids before they sleep offers peace when they sleep.
Posted by Martinsx on 07-18-2018
As soon as I was introduced to alphabets, my father bought a story book for me. Since it was too early for me to read the book, my father used to read one story every day. When my father read the book, I used to sit on his lap and scan the words on the pages. My father reading encouraged me to read.
Posted by vinaya on 07-17-2018
You are very lucky to have your father read for you when you are small. I would affix my childhood experience to not being the same with my parents reading to me as well because of our way of life. African parents don't have such things as reading to their kids in bed as norm years ago. They just started copying it as a foreign culture and it's actually a good thing to do because I'm doing it now for my kids.
Posted by Martinsx on 07-18-2018
Like you, my parents never read to me. But my mother believed in having lots of books in the house. Reading perhaps causes beautiful dreams, especially if you read to the child before bedtime, but clearly helps develop the child's mind and character. The incidental benefit is the lifetime memory of beautiful moments shared between parent and child.
Posted by cmoneyspinner on 07-21-2018
Everything about how kids are treated and brought up in the world today is practically different from what we witnessed in our childhood. I don't know what to call it other than the world got smarter in recent years. So, it's a benefit that our own kids get to enjoy since we didn't experience it but we can offer it to them now.
Posted by Martinsx on 07-24-2018
I agree with what you said about nightmares. Reading stories with them before bedtime really helps children fall asleep in peace. Sometimes the story that they have read also becomes their dreams. It also creates a good relationship between the childred and their parents. On the same time, it helps them academically because I really do believe that good education starts from home.
Posted by ajahcuizon on 09-03-2018
I was never read to and I have not ever read to my children. Not that I do not support reading but I do support it but due to some unknown forces, I never did. Let us read to them.
Posted by stbrians on 09-20-2018
I hope that the tradition of reading to children at bedtime will continue. That activity is one good way of bonding. Can you imagine that every night you are bonding with your children and that bonding will stick to their minds until they grow up. I always tell the young parents to buy children’s books so that they can read to their toddler at bedtime. But some of them would tell me the internet has it so there is no need to buy.
Posted by Corzhens on 12-12-2018
It will be a big help on raising your child. It will develop such a great relationship if you do it habitually. They will feel so much depended to you and feel safer every time you read them books until they got to sleep.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 07-17-2018
I have 14 months old child. My child is already interested in books. Whenever he sees a book he tries to imitate reading. Since my parents read books to me, I will also be reading books to my child. Reading helps the child in many ways.
Posted by vinaya on 07-17-2018
My two sons never missed a single night without either my wife or myself doing the honors of reading to them and putting them to sleep. Both of them are quite a thing with me, they actually prefer me being the one to read to them always. I have to sometimes pretend to be asleep in order for them to agree to their mother read to them.
Posted by Martinsx on 07-19-2018
I think reading bedtime and fairy tale stories to children is quite good in honing their listening and comprehension skills. Reading stories helps children in developing their imagination also it helps them in determining what is true and what is fantasy.
Posted by Kakashi2020 on 07-17-2018
Remember that the mind processes what it's been fed, so depending on the kind of information being read to the children would determine how they reason, behave and act in some certain way. In as much as fairytale stories are good, it should be reduced to some extent.
Posted by Martinsx on 07-19-2018
The most important thing about being a child is imagination, that's exactly why parents should read fairy tail books to them. The magic of going into different worlds with the power of a book is a powerful tool that can help them become better adults.
Posted by manmad on 09-30-2018
My parents don't actually read me bedtime stories. But rather we tell stories of certain events that happen to us when I was little until now. Yes, they read me stories or books if there is a lesson I don't understand. I am taking care of my little brother since he was a baby up until now. He is 5 now. I don't read bedtime stories to him nor read any type of books. But even if I don't we still bond very well, he grows up to be talkative, he socializes and he is also a smart kid. We teach and bond with him by playing with him at the same time teaching him. I sometimes tell him what happen to the cartoon his watching or I would ask him and listen to his stories. Me and my parents also teach him how to read without books. Like, when he is eating a snack, we would teach him how to read his snack and the next time he eats it again he would read it on his own. So, my point is. It is okay to read books to children to enhance their learning, bonding and socialize but I think we should find ways to enhance this in a way where they would be interested in. We should find ways. And I think it depends on the babysitter or parents on how they teach their child to enhance this things.
Posted by Anonymous on 07-17-2018
LOL. You just brought back a memory. We used to like reading the back of the cereal boxes. As I recall some of them used to have fun stuff to read.
Posted by cmoneyspinner on 07-21-2018
I think this is more of a bonding time with your child. I also think that whenever you read books, they will learn new things or lessons in life. I was used to my mother reading to me books when I was a child. I enjoyed it a lot and I felt the love from her. I suggest that all mother should do this before your child turns into adults or teens.
Posted by bienn05 on 07-17-2018
Exactly. You said this the best way I would ever have put it. Spending quality time reading with and to your kids before they sleep is going to add a huge bond between the parent and the child. Whenever I'm away on a travel, my sons have a hard time to sleep because they are more comfortable with me reading to them.
Posted by Martinsx on 07-19-2018
It is good to read to your children because they easily learn easily how to behave and do some things positively when they are being read to.
Posted by babyright on 07-17-2018
True. Explaining things to kids is a good idea. And we learn a lot of small things from the process. You can see that some of the time children may also need the guidance on many points. And those are the things we should be working hard as well.
Posted by overcast on 08-17-2018
Yes, reading is a good way to teach your child to also be a reader. Reading makes you a better speaker and listener. It also expands your vocabulary.
Posted by on 07-17-2018
I think people pre internet used to do that to kids. And it was definitely one of those things which were good in many ways. You can see that reading to children habit definitely pays off. And that's what I would be doing as well for future. But for now I am not in the phase of that and have no kids either.
Posted by overcast on 07-18-2018
We have a routine of reading to our children each night. It's amazing the difference it can make in terms of them recognizing words and being able to then read the books themselves!
Posted by amelia88 on 07-19-2018
Appreciate all of these responses. They indicate that even though technology practically overwhelms our lives, many parents still believe in having “quality time” with their children and that reading is usually the way they spend that time.
Posted by cmoneyspinner on 07-21-2018
I also believe that reading books to children has good benefits. Rather than giving them phones or tablets or ipads and spend theie time watching youtube, why not we as adults read them stories. They can learn how to listen and interact with real people. I do believe that children who were used in listening to their parents while they read books have a better manner than those who grow up with just technology and those who do not interact more to people.
Posted by lei08pineda on 07-22-2018
I agree that reading to your children is beneficial not only to the children but also to the parent. Reading is one way of bonding especially when the stories you read are getting somewhat serious. I remember my childhood days when my mother would challenge us about the ending of the story. We would stretch our minds to think of something sensible. But the best benefit is the closeness of the child to the parent that is developed thru reading.
Posted by Corzhens on 07-22-2018
Well, reading to your children is i think beneficial because most children's specially five years old below relies more in parents. Reading books or stories to them make them more understand and appreciate the general benefits of reading a book. Its a also a form of bonding which i think is important to parents and children relationship.
Posted by fishbate on 07-22-2018
You have a very good point about the importance of parents reading to their children. In as much as it's going to help them psychologically when they are sleeping in order to have a good night sleep, it also serves as a learning or education session for the kids because the more they are being read to, the more chances they learn how to read.
Posted by Martinsx on 07-24-2018
My parents used to read me stories before bedtime everynight when I was a kid. That really helped me a lot to be prepared in my early school. In my first grade of school I can tell that I have been acquainted with preparatory learning during those times when my parents used to read me stories before bedtime.
Posted by timothyP on 07-23-2018
My mom used to read me and my sister bedtime stories every night, still remember we weren't wealthy, but she invested a lot of money on buying books for us. Now I have to say thank you to my mom, because I learned to read when I was just 3 years old, never had issues with grammar or literature at school, and I love to read a lot! Honestly, parents please read books, magazines, brochures, to your kids, take them to libraries and bookstores, give the example by reading with them, that will make them smarter and clever.
Posted by ballyhara on 07-24-2018
i read sometimes to my kids especially the era I was a pre-school teacher I just reading to the children so i developed the habit of reading to kids even to my kids.I just have to ignite the light again to start reading more often to my kids.
Posted by lovely on 07-25-2018
I think reading to your children is precious. I don't think you need a scientific study to learn how to connect to them. Those who have been read to know the importance of that connection with our parents. Its good to teach your kids to listen to and tell stories when they are still young. I believe it affects their outlook on life and they become positive human beings. They learn how to analyse from an early age. I know some parents who start to read to their kids when they are still in the stomach, I think that is super super cool.I think reading to our kids is something we should all strive to do.
Posted by jaymish on 07-25-2018
You never really got in the wrong directions with reading hobby. As long as you read healthy books it is a very good activity. Especially reading with your loved ones. And as the topic said, reading to your own son or daughter really help them grow up with a good relationship with their parents.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 07-25-2018
I firmly believe that caring for our family is one best way to show our love and how precious they are to us especially our young ones. It would really be beneficial for our children if we exert time and effort to read to them whenever we can. Reading to our younger siblings or the young ones in our family will have greater impact on building their language, vocabulary, comprehension that will speed up the learning and development of skills. It will also help to improve their memory and concentration as well. After all, practice makes perfect in almost everything that we do.
Posted by Marako0406 on 07-26-2018
Reading to your children creates a strong bond. It will be part of their childhood that they will always remember when they grow up. When you read to your children, you open their imagination. Even if you read the same story over and over again, they don't run out of excitement unlike we adults do with repetition. You also introduce to them the importance of reading and that learning new things is fun. It's a good way to spend quality time with your kids and downtime moment after a long busy day.
Posted by Chinet23 on 07-26-2018
Reading books to your kids is an irreplaceable/priceless memory. This is also a good bonding for parents and kids, it can bring us closer to each other. That also show how we love our kids. Being a kid is not a lifetime, their came a time that they will grow up where you cant read story books to them anymore. so lets enjoy the moment while they are still kids while they our not that busy to just sit on your lap while listening to our story. Let's not waste that once in a lifetime opportunity.
Posted by blackmist on 08-08-2018
I'm not yet a parent but I strongly believe that reading books to children has a lot of good effects. Reading is a good way to expand school readiness of a child. When you read to a child, you improve his vocabulary, language, and comprehension skills. Reading to them is not just all about helping them mentally but also it is one way of showing your love and care to your children. Take this opportunity while they are young because this is something you won't be able to do as a parent when your children became adults.
Posted by superlicca on 08-12-2018
I believed that reading books to children is very much helpful. Child will be more active in listening and it will enhance their comprehension capabilities. I think letting to listen in alphabet songs and other nursery songs are good help to develop them mentally.
Posted by mark86 on 08-13-2018
I think we all agree to the fact that a child will benefit a lot from listening to their parents read them books not just at night but at any time of the day. First it improves their listening skills, comprehension and imagination. It also increases their vocabularies. Second, they will develop a habit of reading books as well. Growing up with books is a great habit to develop. It will continuously exercise their brains to think and be filled with information.
Posted by mdayrit on 08-14-2018
This one thing that I think will be gone or already gone because of the technologies right now. I saw some relatives that instead of reading, they search on Youtube about the fairytales and allowed the kids to watch it before sleep. They will watch it together and reading books is not part of their routine, they forgot the traditional way.
Posted by ion on 08-22-2018
I agree! I have an 8-month old baby and sooner or later I would also introduce books to him. It would surely help his brain development and we'll have more mother and son bonding. In my own opinion, introducing books to children rather than gadgets will make them more productive by reading, writing, coloring, and interaction activities rather than just clicking and scrolling gadgets that may seem so boring and there may be some applications that are not so child friendly. If children were introduced to books at an early age, they will have the habit of reading books when they grow up and that's a big factor in their brain development.
Posted by MiaManimbo on 08-23-2018
It's definitely good to read to your children and I don't think you should be doing so after reading a study that says so. You should be doing so even without the study because not only is it good for your children, but it's also good to strengthen your relationship with them.
Posted by kingcool52 on 08-31-2018
I love reading books to children and seeing how their eyes sparkle while listening. It’s really a great feeling to share your knowledge with little kids. Me personally my parents never read a storybook to me nor any stories before I go to sleep when I was younger. I’m the youngest so I don’t have any little sister but as part of growing up I reach out to my neighbor’s kids and really share stories with them and it feels great to read something to them.
Posted by Therese16 on 08-31-2018
Reading to children will make them pick vocabulary early in life. Jt will improve listening skills and give much knowledge.
Posted by stbrians on 09-02-2018
Reading to children is a very good habit which will help improve the vocabulary and also reading habit of your children, another research also shows that children that have parental upbringing educationally are more smart and bright in school than those children whom their parent doesn't spend much time with them
Posted by ElectorAlexander on 10-20-2018
I was able to read to my kids especially when they were little. A preschool teacher gave me that advice. She said of you are to read to kids as soon as they were born, it would be easier for them to do at school. Also the parents will benefit from it because kids who did not experience to listen to their parents as they read is harder to tutor than kids who were able to listen to their parents read. Also kids who listen to their parents reading are more imaginative, attentive and inclined to studying.
Posted by anchoreztin on 09-16-2018
I am sure that almost every child that have their parents read to them before sleeping (or any time of the day) will build a habit of reading books in the future. We utilize our audial sense if we are consuming a book by hearing. It works like the audiobooks that are prevalent in our society today. My parents didn't read to me when I was a kid but they provided me with children books, fairy tales, etc. that improved my creativity and made me interested in fantasy/fiction at a young age.
Posted by EfficientNinja on 09-17-2018
My parents never read books to any of us but they demonstrated by example that reading books is as enjoyable as other hobbies. They also provided us with good books and magazines. My dad had an annual subscription to Reader's Digest and we always had two newspapers delivered daily to our house - a broadsheet and a tabloid. My mom also bought weekly magazines. That home environment helped develop my love for reading. When I became a parent, I felt that it was necessary to read books to my child because if I didn't, he'll never appreciate reading. There are just too many options to entertain kids today that unless parents consciously lead them on, they'll never consider reading books as worthwhile habits.
Posted by chatbox on 09-23-2018
When I was young, my grandfather would used tell me a story rather than reading it. He have so many countless stories about war since he was a soldier in World War 2. I get to listen to him very attentively until I fall asleep. I don't know if reading to your child will really affect his or her academic performance later in school. All I could think is it really helps me become interested in books to be able to share stories to other people.
Posted by Aeolos on 09-24-2018
I agree with this, at the very least they might develop an interest in reading books, because it is an activity that they've grown up around. It is true that it is no new study though. This has been a well known fact and I think that parents around the world have been practicing it for ages.
Posted by manmad on 09-29-2018
There is a lot of benefits of early exposure to literature. Reading books to children can help with their language acquisition and expanding their vocabulary. It can also develop their awareness of different kind of stories and they will have more interest in learning to read. Reading books to them is not just educational but also a good bonding with a child.
Posted by superlicca on 10-03-2018
It is true that when our parents reads for us in our infancy really shape our advancement of our cognitive aspect. At that stage of infancy we tend to remember and impersonate many things an example is speaking we imitate speaking because we have heared it when we are young. That's why it is also true that we will be a little advanced to school if our parents do this kind of things to us when we were little.
Posted by Gilgamesh on 10-05-2018
We should make it a habit to read stories to our children because in this early stages of their lives. Cognitive and imaginative skills are being developed. Needless to say that reading contribute much to the development of our children. The bond between parents and children that develop during this period molds the younger generation to become a responsible and productive citizen in the near future.
Posted by bee.rthooyah on 10-06-2018
I read to my kids from the day they were born. They even had books in their cot. Obviously these were picture books. The bedtime and other stories were a big part of their childhood. One child read at two (he could actually read bus adverts on passing buses if we were sitting on the top of one, ) and the other at four. Both still read avidly. We did not have a television. We also made up oral and written stories from an early age. Yes, you should definitely read to children, the more the better. It is more than reading, as you also bond with your child and give them something other than television and social media to occupy them as adults.
Posted by HappyLady on 10-08-2018
I wish my parents had the luxury to have time to read me some books before bed time, but unfortunately our family's not that rich when I was a kid and they both had busy lives working hard to earn money and to also take care of me and my siblings and I very much appreciate and understand our situation and their hard work. This is also what is happening with my aunt and her only daughter. She and her husband has a very tight schedule as they both work in an orphanage and so their only choice is to make their daughter play with her tablet and watch videos on YouTube so that they won't be disturbed when they want to rest, and again I completely understand their situation.
Posted by jaybee19 on 10-10-2018
I wish my parents had the luxury to have time to read me some books before bed time, but unfortunately our family's not that rich when I was a kid and they both had busy lives working hard to earn money and to also take care of me and my siblings and I very much appreciate and understand our situation and their hard work. This is also what is happening with my aunt and her only daughter. She and her husband has a very tight schedule as they both work in an orphanage and so their only choice is to make their daughter play with her tablet and watch videos on YouTube so that they won't be disturbed when they want to rest, and again I completely understand their situation.
Posted by jaybee19 on 10-10-2018
I don't know why, I always think reading to kids or even baby in the womb is good for them and for the parent-child bonding too. Perhaps I watched this from movies or read about this from books, even though my parents didn't read to us when we were young. They expected us to read the books by ourselves when we were able to do so, but there were plenty of books in the house.

I started reading children stories to my children even when they were still in my womb. I think it also helps to calm down the baby or kids. My kids always like listen to stories, and it has become my trick to settle any challenging moments. I read that it's also good to tell the stories without reading from a book, perhaps with using props. I also think read aloud time or storytelling time helps to build the relationship among the family.
Posted by kaka135 on 10-11-2018
A standout amongst the most critical things guardians can do, past protecting children sound and, is to peruse with them. That implies beginning when they are infants and not by any means ready to talk, and proceeding with well past the years that they can read independent from anyone else. A great many studies demonstrates that early perusing with kids causes them figure out how to talk, associate, security with guardians and read early themselves, and perusing with children who definitely know how to peruse encourages them feel near overseers, comprehend their general surroundings and be compassionate nationals of the world.
Posted by jetselle on 10-12-2018
Yes, I agree with start reading to infants very much. I haven't any child yet but, when I will have one I'll definitely introduces my baby to alphabets, numbers, children songs, shapes, etc. because I always believe that if you train your baby's brain while at the very young age... the baby will become smart and of course we should always guide the babies with good attitude as well. But the point is, it's better if the baby will be introduced to basic knowledge at his/her very young age in order to build his mind as early as he/she can absorbs things.
Posted by mitan143 on 10-15-2018
There is an on going trend nowadays, that if something can be done instantly, then they choose that way. That why there are a lot of parents who instead of reading to their babies, are relying more of showing them videos to lull them to sleep. I guess people now are to accustomed to have their chores be done by somebody or in this case, something else.
Posted by emiaj55 on 10-18-2018
I have a sister who have always been a reader. I think it always have been my biggest influence on why I am fond of reading. My mom said she read to me when I was younger. I like to think it had influence me growing up.
Posted by thejoyrevolution on 10-20-2018
Medical student here. I cannot remember how many times our professors have underscored the importance of reading to children. The Reach Out and Read initiative is one of the global campaigns that advocate this. Parents are highly encouraged spend time reading to their children and make sure that their children have adequate tools for this. This practice not only promotes early literacy, thereby preparing the child well for school, but also forges a stronger parent-to-child bond.
Posted by astraherondale on 11-01-2018
In “The Pout-Pout Fish” children’s picture book, the author weaves words like “aghast” and “grimace” into a story about a fish who thought he was destined to “spread the dreary-wearies all over the place” until…well, no need to spoil the ending.

Finding such rich language in a picture book is not unusual, and reading those stories aloud will introduce children to an extensive vocabulary, according to new research conducted by Dominic Massaro, a professor emeritus in psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He said although parents can build their children’s vocabularies by talking to them, reading to them is more effective.

Reading aloud is the best way to help children develop word mastery and grammatical understanding, which form the basis for learning how to read, said Massaro, who studies language acquisition and literacy. He found that picture books are two to three times as likely as parent-child conversations to include a word that isn’t among the 5,000 most common English words.

Picture books even include more uncommon words than conversations among adults, he said.

“We talk with a lazy tongue,” Massaro said. “We tend to point at something or use a pronoun and the context tells you what it is. We talk at a basic level.”
Posted by totoadrian on 11-07-2018
I'm not a parent yet but I am planning to read my future children books as they grow up. I think it is better to read them books while they develop their thinking abilities through time. It would be nice if it would be their hobby to read books or listen to stories so that they won't have trouble in school in the future. It is a fun way to build a bond with your children and for them to develop their minds. It's better for them to get used to listening to stories while they are still a baby or a child.
Posted by hstinscdln on 11-07-2018
The benefits of reading are spoken of very often. What is perhaps not so clear to everyone is how early you can start reading to children. There was a research done by learning psychologists Jerome Bruner and Anat Ninio, published in 1978 and considered a classic, which established that from eight months of age forward babies interact with adults and elements of the world, as they have developed their capacity of shared attention. Shared reading can begin even earlier, from the first days.

What are the benefits for children of reading with their parents? The first and most obvious is to encourage children to be good readers in the future. People who start reading from a young age and who read a lot develop an increasing reading ability and other cognitive skills, while those who start late and read little will experience difficulties that will make them read less and less.
Posted by mcnasci24 on 11-14-2018