Top ten reasons reading bedtime stories is important
One of the most memorable childhood memories of mine are when my mother would read bedtime stories to me. It was a time of sharing, love, and one-to-one nurturing conversation with my mother prior to me falling asleep. It calmed me down, gave me security, and just truly put a smile on my face before I closed my eyes and welcomed the next day. This bedtime story ritual was of true importance to me as a child and continues to be of importance to many other parents out there with their children.
Here are the top 10 reasons I think reading children’s books aloud, especially at bedtime, is an important, even necessary, activity.
10. The chance to connect at the end of the day, and sit close together, even with a child who doesn’t always like to be touched or cuddled (for example myself as a child!). 🙂
9. Reading bedtime stories can lead to a wonderful no-pressure opportunity to talk about life’s little, and big, issues as story characters run into challenges and solve them successfully, or not.
8. Gives you, the parent, the opportunity to share some of your own experiences and wisdom effortlessly and without preaching when they relate to that night’s bedtime story.
7. Helps your child build his or her vocabulary – encourage asking if there’s a word he or she doesn’t understand. Keep a dictionary handy to look up words together if you have trouble explaining the meaning, or if you don’t know what something means either! 🙂
6. Reading stories without pictures stimulates imagination as there are no visuals; the picture has to be formed in your head from the words you hear.
5. Reading picture books, on the other hand, is a great opportunity to compare various artistic styles and mediums.
4. Reading a chapter book teaches delayed gratification – sometimes we have to wait for what comes next. What child doesn’t need help learning that lesson?! Reading is a painless way to teach it. 🙂
3. Today the experts tell us that, for better sleep, kids and adults should have at least a half-hour of no screen time (no TV, no computers, no video games) before bed. Reading bedtime stories to them especially fills the gap for those kids who no longer know how to entertain themselves; it can also get them hooked on books and one day they will happily read to themselves before bed if you are busy and the TV has been turned off.
2. “Leaders are readers” and developing the reading habit begins at home – you are giving your child a great advantage for life’s later years.
1. And finally, and sometimes I think – no matter how important or essential reading is to future success in school, in work, in life – the most important reason of all for reading bedtime stories is that for that half hour you are all your child’s, a chance for him or her to feel they are indeed loved, cherished and a priority in your life. How important and priceless is that sense and knowledge for a child to have in the midst of our busy multi-tasking lives? 🙂
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