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with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

Bibliotherapy: 5 Benefits of Books for Kids


It is well known that children benefit academically from reading books. Schools require children to build reading skills very early on. However, even beyond the academic reasons for reading books, children can also experience other amazing benefits. The benefits can be experienced when children read books to themselves as well as when others read books to them.


1. Improves kids’ ability to manage potentially stressful life events

Some children’s books are written specifically about experiences that children might find difficult, such as going to the dentist or having divorced parents. Reading these types of books to children can help them to feel more comfortable with the situation and can prepare them for what they are experiencing or what they will experience.

Book example:


2. Increases feelings recognition and management

As children develop, they learn about emotions (their own and other people’s). In order to grown into a healthy, well-balanced adult, kids must learn how to recognize what emotions they have, what emotions others have, how emotions are experienced, and what to do about them or how to behave in response to an emotion. To do this, books can teach important skills that will help them learn appropriate behaviors for different emotions as well as to be more aware and accepting of feelings in general.

Book example:

3. Enhances relationships

When parents read books to their children, the bond between them increases. Reading allows for a time when both parent and child can relax, connect with one another, and be in a moment in which they do not have to worry about the demands of everyday life. Reading can also enhance a relationship between siblings. For instance, an older sibling can read to their younger sibling which can create a positive bond between them.

4. Calms and strengthens the mind

Reading a book or being read to can help the mind of a child to grow by improving a child’s creativity, imagination, and ability to simply slow down and relax which also refreshes the mind and makes the brain have the energy it needs to perform everyday tasks more efficiently and with better quality.

5. Improves self-confidence

When children develop reading skills, their self-confidence improves because they are accomplishing a task in which they put in effort to learn. Learning to reading and reading new books and even familiar books is great for children’s self-confidence. Part of self-confidence is feeling good about being successful at something (about one’s own abilities) and this is surely an outcome of what reading can do for children. When the adults in a child’s life respond with positive attention, acceptance, reassurance, and encouragement, a child’s self-confidence can improve even more.

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Bibliotherapy: 5 Benefits of Books for Kids

Heather Gilmore, MSW, BCBA

Heather is a freelance writer, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and social worker. Heather takes interest in topics related to parenting, children, families, personal development, health and wellness, applied behavior analysis, as well as Autism, ADHD, Depression and Anxiety. Contact Heather if you would like to inquire about obtaining her freelance writing services. You can view more articles and resources from Heather at and email her at [email protected] You can also advertise your autism services at one of Heather's websites: Heather is the developer of the "One-Year ABA Parent Training Curriculum."


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APA Reference
Gilmore, H. (2014). Bibliotherapy: 5 Benefits of Books for Kids. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2020, from