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Parents view quality time and bonding as top benefits of reading

New research from the UK shows that, for the majority of parents, reading to children is perceived as an important and enjoyable activity, with the ability to foster bonding and quality time between parents and children. 

The survey from Ladybird in the UK reveals that 93% of parents feel it is important to read with their child, and 88% reported that it is about shared enjoyment. 

The survey was conducted by Censuswide with 1,013 UK parents with children aged 0-5 years old between June and July 2023.

When looking at the benefits of reading with their children, 81% of parents see spending quality time together as an important benefit, while 68% cited bonding as one of the key motivations to read with their child.

However, despite the majority of parents feeling reading to their child is important, the research revealed that not all parents have the skills and confidence to do so, while others lack the time. 

Key findings of the survey included:

  • 93% of parents feel it is important to read with their child
  • 81% of parents see one of the benefits of reading is to enjoy quality time together, while 68% cited bonding as one of the key motivations to read with their child.
  • 88% of parents agreed that reading with their child is about shared enjoyment and is not a chore.
  • 75% of parents shared that they wish they had more time to read with their child.
  • Parents predominantly read with their children at the traditional bedtime slot (77% between 6-8pm), with low engagement at other times of the day.
  • Of those surveyed with children aged 1 years and under, over 36% felt their child was too young to read to.
  • 33% of parents wished they had more confidence to read with their child, with both reading out loud or doing character voices cited as reasons for them doubting their confidence. 

 

These findings tie in to a broader body of research which reveals the benefits of reading to children – including improvements in cognitive performance and mental health.

Ensuring that parents are supported in reading to their child will ensure that more children get the benefits of being read to from an early age. 

Looking for reading inspiration? Check in with your local library or bookshop, or tune into ABC Education’s Storytime and Your Kid’s Next Read podcast.