Ways parents can help their child (Part 1 - Reading)


So your child is going to school after Covid-19. Well, parenting duties don't stop there. It's been proven that academic achievement improves when parents are involved. Attendance, behaviour, social functioning, mental health and overall development also improves (Thill, 2020). The type of parent you are affect development. For example Diane Baumrind came up with four distinct categories that can affect a child's development (Bright Horizons, 2020). In this blog series are some of the ways you can support child development socially, physically, intellectually, communicatively and emotionally. We start with reading with your child.

2014 statistics showed that "one in five children in England cannot read well by the age of 11." Additionally "the reading skills of children from disadvantaged backgrounds are on average almost three years behind those from the most affluent homes." (Reading Agency, 2020)

Yet University of Malaga and UCL found that out of 43,000 students, monitored when they were aged 10 to 11 and then 13 to 14, "pupils who enjoy reading high-quality books daily score higher in tests" (UCL, 2020). Department of Education felt that reading for pleasure was so important they wrote a paper on "Research evidence on reading for pleasure" (DfE, 2012). In it, the Government outlines Clark and Rumbold's research who identify several main benefits to reading for pleasure:

  • "Reading attainment and writing ability;

  • Text comprehension and grammar;

  • Breadth of vocabulary;

  • Positive reading attitudes;

  • Greater self-confidence as a reader;

  • Pleasure in reading in later life;

  • General knowledge;

  • A better understanding of other cultures;

  • Community participation; and

  • A greater insight into human nature and decision-making." (p.9)

Clearly reading has benefits and can support development. It can also prevent mental health conditions with non-readers 28% "more likely to report feelings of depression", low self-esteem and anxious (Reading Agency, 2020).


Studies show that reading for a minimum of 15 minutes daily can increase reading scores, engagement etc. "The effect was even larger in the group reading more than half an hour a day" (The Reading Warrior, 2020). For these reasons reading can benefit both you and your child. By reading together you build a bond, enjoy books together, improve imagination, concentration and creativity whilst developing a lifelong love of books.

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