Why In the World Would You Teach Your Toddler to Read?

Read Time: 5 mins

In part I of this series, we asked the question: Can Toddlers Actually Read? And the answer was a resounding YES (if they are taught how to do it.)

In Part II of this series, we acknowledged maybe toddlers can read but: Is It Developmentally Appropriate to Teach a Toddler How to Read? And again, the answer was a clear YES (if you know how to teach it.)

This leaves us with one big question still to answer: 

So if toddlers can read and can be taught in a developmentally appropriate way… it still leaves us with one big question to answer: 

“Why in the world would you want to teach a toddler how to read when there are so many other important things they should be learning?!” 

And I understand why you would ask this question, and I get why it frustrates so many parents (myself included). Because there are more important things that you should be doing with your toddler than teaching them how to read.

But that’s not what this question is really asking. That’s not what this question is about.

You see, what this question is really saying is you can either teach your child this, or you can teach your child that.  

  • You can either teach your child these other skills, or you can teach them how to read.
  • You can either let your child learn through play, or you can let them learn about reading.
  • You can either follow your child’s lead, or you can force them to read.

There are more examples here but do you get what I’m saying? Some folks make parenting decisions out to be an either/or when, in reality: YOU get to choose what YOU do and don’t do with YOUR child.

So we need to start by making one thing clear first: parenting is not an either/or. It never has been and never will be. 

We are ALWAYS teaching our children multiple things at once. We are ALWAYS balancing and juggling and prioritizing a list of things that we want to do or ways that believe we can better support our children. 

We do not need to choose either, we teach our child how to read or we teach them other things. We can do both.  

And while it’s true that we can’t do everything at once… that doesn’t mean we can’t do something

Why are parents teaching their toddlers to read? 

Let me just say that if you are an either/or thinker who believes that you can either teach your toddler to read or you can focus on these other areas of development, then stop reading here. 

Because if it is true that YOU believe you can only focus on one thing at a time for your child, then YOU should not be teaching them how to read. You should be focused on that other stuff. 

But if you believe- like the thousands of parents who are taking the Toddlers CAN Read Courses- that you can teach your toddler to read AND still teach them other skills. And still let them learn through play. And still follow their lead. And still “let kids be kids.”… then there are plenty of reasons why someone might choose to teach their toddler to read.

Here are 9 reasons why parents are taking my courses to their toddlers to read:

Toddlers CAN Read: Parent Visions

Should You Teach YOUR Toddler to Read?

I shared a handful out of hundreds of reasons why parents are choosing to teach their toddlers to read. But if you can’t think of a reason why learning to read early or learning to read well, or learning to read together will benefit your little one: don’t do it. 

But if you are interested in helping your little one read: you can learn more about how learning to read works and why kids can start reading so early and so simply here: FREE 30-Minute Early Reading Workshop. I also have full, paid courses which offer even more support and access to a community of like-minded parents.

Either way: the decision is yours and if you choose to teach YOUR toddler to read, then I'm here to support you.