Do parents still read books to/with their children?

Updated: Apr 23, 2018

Brad Chisholm

I sure hope so. I think it is a golden time for children’s books. We read “Click, Clack, Moo about pigeons using a typewriter to complain to the farmer. There are several of them. Also “When Dinosaurs Came With Everything”, “Flat Stanley”… the fact that I still remember them says something.

As our son went through middle school I read what he was reading: “4th Stall”, “Maze Runner”, “The Fault In Our Stars” “Hugo and the clock”, etc., so we could talk about them. Our son is not a reader, but I tried to slip in the Greek myths, “Animal Farm”, a few others.

Precious, precious memories.

I worry now that with ‘progressive’ policies censorship will be coming to a school near you.


Genica Gayanes

Having my parents read me a bedtime story when I was a kid is still one of my fondest memories. It opened a whole new world of adventure and creativity in my young mind, and made me believe that all things are possible. I think no matter how old I get, I'd still jump at the chance of having them read to me again.

I learned to read when I was two, and like most kids who get haughty at such an accomplishment, I stopped asking them to read books to and for me, insisting that I can very well do it by myself. They still read to me until I was four years old, but I wish I hadn't been so adamant on reading without their presence, because I'd give anything to have those moments again. I remember them telling me, that it's no surprise that I was able to learn to read earlier than other kids since, when my mom was pregnant with me, all she did was read. She was able to read and collect about 2,000 books during the course of her pregnancy, and that love for books was passed onto me. Yes, I'm also, and still, a voracious reader.

Although I'm all grown up with a career of my own, and though mom no longer reads to me, (dad died when I was 10) telling each other books that we've enjoyed and would let the other borrow is one of our many bonding activities. We also bicker on which character was the most essential, compare our favorite scenes, and also debate on whether the book's ending was satisfying. When a book brought her to tears or took her aback because of the author's brilliance, she'll call me up and tell me about it, eventually asking me to buy that very book with the parting words, “Let's see if your eyes stay dry while reading it.”

So, even if my parents no longer read to me, nor read with me because our schedules rarely meet, my mom still makes sure we read the same books one way or another. Books will always connect us, and will always be an effective way for us to express our love.


Iffat Tafseer

No…reading books culture is dying and thats sad..


Deborah Blackstone

I still read to my 5 and 8 year old all the time. We have an impressive little library at our house. My eight-year-old doesn’t really care to read by himself but loves chapter books, especially the new series about yetis. My little one is happy to read anything. I try to make it a priority since they were little to read to them because I love reading as an adult and I want to instill that in them.


Robert Jones

Yes! I just witnessed my uncle doing that not two minutes ago, before he put his 5 year old to bed (aka my nephew). It was some generic EC book, which I haven’t the faintest idea which one. I’m more concerned that today kids are reading some generic anthropomorphic character. Whatever happened to the classic Disney and Warner Bros folks?


Chris Christensen

Many years of parenting & teaching

Yes. I read every night to my son until he was about 8 or so. We read all sorts of things and made trips together to the bookstore or library to pick them. We read everything from Dr. Seuss to Captain Underpants. It was revealed by the continual compliments I received on my son’s vocabulary. :-)

Currently, my nieces & nephews read to their kids and I’m working on doing the same with my “greats” (my great nieces & nephews).

Laura Russell

With the boom in technology, many parents stopped reading to their kids - especially with the introduction of storybook apps and those awful Baby Genius (and similar) videos that claimed to be better than books. Hogwash.

Many parents still do! Sometimes parents need to be told or reminded of how important it is. It also generally follows that if you were read to as a child, then you will read to your child, and so forth. Also, the more highly educated the parent (generally) the more likely they are to read to their child, the more books they will be exposed to, the more words they will know, the better prepared they will be for school, etc. Hence the “million word gap.”

My children were born in 2014 and 2017, and we read books consistently every night before bed and then interspersed throughout the day. My son was an early talker and is very verbally adept for his age (4) and I am frequently complimented on it by teachers and even strangers. I chalk it all up to reading. He loves to read children’s Encyclopedias! We began reading to him when he was just 2 days old. And though I’ve less time to devote to our daughter, she has gotten just as much exposure to reading and partakes in the nightly story time ritual and has since she was only days old.

So it’s hard to know exactly how many parents do and do not read to their

Harjeet Dhillon,

Not all of them but definitely some of them. I would guess most parents read to their children. I shared the responsibility and would have my children read to me too.

I gave birth in 2005 and 2007. When I was raised my earliest memories of books include my dad having me read to him. I used to love it!! We used to go the library for fun, not only borrow books but by many second hand books too!

I was an avid reader back then and books excited me. I had dreamed to have one published one day, and in 2015 I finally did.

Now, my ex husband was a high school drop-out and didn't read. His childhood was a lot of moving around. In fact, he told me a story where he met a girl who asked him if he read and his response was, “What do you mean? Like books?”

With that piece of info you can probably guess who was bigger about reading with the kids. My in-laws were uneducated and worked general labour jobs.

They all watched TV more than read.

I separated with my husband in 2009 and since then communication is on and off. I am crying writing this answer because I have not seen or had a conversation with them since May 2016. My biggest concern is that their dad does not encourage education and his morals are completely different.

My first born was a genius, in my mind. Here are some examples:

  • He was reading newspapers by 2.5yrs old

  • He knew how to spell octopus by 2yrs (why octopus? Lol!! He used to learn on https://www.starfall.com/)

  • My favourite story of him was when I was pregnant with his brother I had fears he would be jealous so wanted him prepared. I would read “I'm a Big Brother!” by Ronne Randall everyday that I knew the words

  • off by heart. I was expressive when I read to him and then one day walked by the toy room and saw this little 2yr old grab the book off the shelf, sit down in the middle of the toyroom with said book and start flipping the pages. Lo and behold he was “reading", just like me. Mimicking my expressions too!! I think I caught it on tape but I would have to find it…back then it was filmed on a camcorder. He likely had memorised the words from the pictures but it is a very fond memory of mine.

  • He knew all the nursery rhymes and fairytales because I read books from my childhood! Here he is reciting three little pigs: Harjeet Dhillon on Instagram: “The cutest rendition of 3 little pigs ever told!! I miss these days!!! I couldn't have been blessed with better children. #threelittlepigs…”

  • As they got older I would read Fairy Tales of the World (from my

  • childhood….more like fables) and Geronimo Stilton series. They used to love my expressiveness. With the first book I would ask them questions at the end because I was curious to know their understanding of it.

  • I had a picture Oxford dictionary from my childhood and used to use that as a teaching aid. Ask them to spell the word “lion", for example, then find the page it is on.

  • My little guy used to email me telling me he had a big book from school and he was loving reading!!

I can only hope that the few years I was able to be active in their lives will be beneficial to them.

I know quite a few parents with older children who have access to books but don't know how to read — 3 and 6yr olds. I will make an effort to read with their children too because I know that parents don't always have time. In my experience, parents who are didn't complete their education will not teach or read with their kids. If they are employed without being readers then they would think the same for their children. I am not sure but I think it could be one of the factors that result in learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.

Chris Williams,

I sure hope that they still read to their children! Books take you to places you had not even dreamed of, make you think about the deeper things of life, and share the excitement, joys, and fears of others. They can teach us, no electricity needed.

I do think that everyone enjoys being read to. I had a series of short stories that were beautifully written, all read within ten minutes and all with a point that made you think. When I finished a class early, sometimes I would read one of these to the class— and I had juniors and seniors in high school. The stories were always well-received.

When I completed my special education teaching certificate in my 50’s, I had to take a course on teaching others to read. I was assigned to a group of about six other students to practice reading aloud to each other. I was given a Dr. Seuss book that I’d not heard of, and it was longer than the allotted ten minutes of story-telling. So, I decided that my challenge was to tell it in such a way that 20 year olds would be engrossed in the book enough to want to know how it ended. They were, and I gave a quick synopsis of the ending.

Reading is for all ages, and I hope and pray this continues.

Z Gottlieb,

Some still do. When parents don’t they are missing quality time with their children and opportunities to help develop their children’s intellectual curiosity.

A Disney/Pixar film will never be able to return a child’s question with a question of why do you think it happened or can you think of another ending? I’m not even sure TV/Computers/phones/ipads with it’s passive communications is even adding to a child’s growth and development to think beyond what’s in front of them.

It seems like we are teaching are children to be princesses and princess with unrealistic expectations and not Scientists, Doctors, teachers, nurses, police, entrepreneurs, coders, tool makers, etc….

Paul Bounthong,

Yes, all over the world parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, teachers still read to their children.

Up to age 10 or 11 you can read harry potter or alice in wonderland, or chronicles of narnia or the hobbit to them one chapter before bed.

however if they have specific interests like ufos or penguins then they will much more enjoy books about those.

But some parents cant read, or cant read well, or dont read at all, or think books aren’t important, we all grow up with certain values and books never helped some people in life. I was raised to think just making money was important so books were not a priority growing up and i much prefered movies or tv shows.

movies and shows are good too because theirs a writer behind every scene and its essentially reading too.

if reading isnt a priority for your family, spending time doing anything else wit your children is well worth it.

however books do provide imagination and important lessons too. Search for a good one.

Maghisha Yogaraj,

Yes. Reading bedtime stories and tucking the kids into bed is a must for all the parents with little kids. It improves their creativity and reading ability . kids can catch up quickly than teens and adults because they don’t have stress or exam troubles or whatsoever. So i suggest, rather than trying to make them read when they’re 10 or 11, you can do it now. Besides, they’ll have a goodnight’s sleep!


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