Bedtime stories – A thing of the past?
Once upon a time bedtime stories were a way for families to bond at the end of the day, snuggled up reading together before going to sleep. However with so many other things available now, T.V, I-pads, video games, it seems that bedtime stories for many families are a thing of the past. I was honestly shocked when reading a study which reported that just 64% of families with children under seven read to their children before bed. For many parents who are too busy, or too stressed at the end of their work day, letting children fall asleep to technology is becoming the norm.
Bedtime stories have been part of our routine since my children were born. Even before they could understand what we were saying, or notice any pictures on the book, we would sit with them every night before bed and read a story. As a child, I remember my mother sitting with me reading bedtime stories every night, and so it feels natural to be doing the same thing with my own children.
It’s not that I am against all technology, in fact in this day and age screen time can sometimes be beneficial if used in the right way. However there is a time and place, and there are so many reasons why bedtime stories are more important.
Bedtime stories help to create routine
Children like routine, they like to know what is coming next. If your children have been out and about running around all day, a good cuddle and a story can help calm them down and reduce their stress levels, helping them sleep better at night.
It also helps them to know that it actually is bed time. My boys know that that after the bedtime story and singing a couple of songs, that it is time to sleep, and I am lucky to have two very good sleepers.
Reading together helps build your child’s vocabulary
When it comes to learning vocabulary, reading books to your children gives them the opportunity to hear words that they may not otherwise hear, especially bigger words that you may not use often when speaking to them.
Stories also improve children’s memory. Before using words themselves, they need to hear them a few times, and with repetition of the same story, (and we all know how children love to read the same story 100 times over) they will remember the words and what is coming next.
Stories increase your child’s imagination
A child’s imagination has no limits, but it needs stimulating. By listening to a story and looking at the pictures, children are able to imagine, dream, and predict what is coming next.
I tend to get lots of “why did he do that, or why is he going there?” Questioning what is going on in the story and why things are happening helps to develop a child’s comprehension.
Bedtime stories every night help to create a stronger bond
After a long day using up all of their energy, there’s nothing better than snuggling up with your child on the couch or in bed and reading a bedtime story together. Spending time together engaging in something you both enjoy can help creates a stonger bond between you.
Reading every day creates good habits
Children learn a lot from us, and rely on us to create good habits. Reading bedtime stories to your children, it sets them up for a lifetime of a love for reading.
Read bedtime stories every night
Reading to your children every day is extremely important not only for their literacy skills but for their overall development. While it isn’t always possible for many parents to spend hours reading with their children, a quick story or two before bedtime can still have a great impact. I will keep reading bedtime stories to my children for years to come, and hope to install good reading habits so that they will enjoy reading to themselves all the way into adulthood.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world” Albert Einstein
Did you find this post interesting? Subscribe to receive other related articles. Follow us on Facebook Pageand join the Bilingual Kidspot Discussion group dedicated to parents raising bilingual children.