A recent Harris Poll shows that reading to children has more benefits than simply getting them excited about reading on their own. Parent-child reading times are also a great facilitator of family relationships:
“Adults who say their parents read to them every day when they were young are especially likely to report very strong relationships with their parents (‘strongly agree’ that they have/had strong relationships with their parents), and this reported bond decreases as the frequency of childhood story times goes down:
- 74% among those whose parents read to them every day,
- 64% among those who were read to at least weekly,
- 52% among those read to less than once a week, and
- 33% of those who don’t recall their parents reading to them.”
The poll also found that adults whose parents regularly read to them as a child were more likely to have six-figure incomes, and hold not only a college degree, but also an advanced degree.
I know from experience that at the end of a busy day, it’s far easier to plop the family in front of a movie or the internet and vegetate. But if we’re honest with ourselves, it doesn’t take all that much more energy for a family to vegetate in front of a story book. And if the adults surveyed on the Harris Poll are any indication, the relational, mental, and financial benefits of family story time will far outweigh the small amount of exertion a read-aloud session may bring to a parent.
Annie Holmquist is editor of Intellectual Takeout, an online magazine and sister publication of Chronicles.