Why Reading to Your Kids Matters


I am a bookworm. I have been reading since I was 3. Some of the fondest memories from my childhood involve books and a library. I remember wanting to be a part of the library’s summer reading program even into high school. I would take a lawn chair into the warm sun and immerse myself in whatever story I chose.

I was the kid who would rather read the book than watch the movie.


And if I did see the movie, I would immediately say afterward, “The book was better.” How did I become this way? My parents surrounded me with books from a very young age. My mother read stories to me, and when I caught on, I would read them to her. I do the same for my children now.

My kids always have a book. My oldest always loved words and stories, but learning to read took some time. I didn’t force it, I just kept reading to her. Morning and night, we read a story. Sometimes it would be the same one because she loved it so much. My oldest son, on the other hand, hated books early. He didn’t want me to read to him. The preschool years were an uphill battle of trying to figure out the key to unlock a love of learning or at least a tolerance of storytime.

One day, I just stopped trying to give him the books I thought he should read or books that his older sister enjoyed. I took him to the library and asked him to choose whatever books he wanted. I vividly remember his excitement when he found books about the Paw Patrol characters. His face lit up and he said, “Mommy! Mommy! Paw Patrol! I want these!”

Being a lover of words used to stand in my way, and ultimately, my son’s way of learning and loving stories. I wanted him to pick up books that had richer words and beautiful storylines. Characters that could teach him lessons about life in subtle ways. But I went with his desire and read him the first book in the library book pile. When I finished, he said “Mommy, can you read it again?” I had to fight tears. He had never said that to me before. So, I read it again. Afterward, he took it and went to his room on his rug and “read” it himself. Then the tears fell down my cheeks. My precious son found what he liked.

That was a turning point for us in our reading journey for sure. It has been almost two years since that day and he is a completely different kid. He always asks me to read to him, and even though he squirms nonstop during our storytimes, he is always listening.

Reading to your kids doesn’t always have to be fancy. 

It doesn’t always have to be before bed. An audiobook in the car, while you’re driving home from school or a playdate, can be storytime. Read to them while they’re in the bathtub! During snack time. Pick a book with characters that look like them or have similar struggles or interests. For example, if they’re having fears about something, find a story with a child who overcomes that fear. There are so many books in the world, there is one for your child that will light up their curiosity and put a sparkle in their eyes. You will be able to bond with them, too! Simple storytime is usually best. And it is always worth it.


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