My four-year-old son has learned to love bedtime stories at the age of two, and this routine has helped us sleep earlier at night.
However, I found out that this activity does more than just get him ready for bed; it also helps create a powerful bond between the two of us. As a work-at-home mom, I spend most of my time in front of the computer and honestly, we don’t have quality time together.
So at night time, I make sure to entertain him by reading, making funny voices and sometimes acting like the character. I believe this stimulates his imagination. Other than these, reading bedtime stories has many benefits, especially for the brain of your child.
So, whether you’ve been reading to your kids for a long time now or you’re just getting started, this post is for you!
It Helps Kids Learn
When you read, you help your child learn by developing certain skills, such as language, listening, and imagination.
As you tell the story of how Jack climbed the Beanstalk, your child hears words they’re not familiar with, thus widening their vocabulary. It also creates unique scenes and mental images in their young minds and this results in more fondness for reading.
On top of this, reading affects your child positively in school. Studies suggest that the majority of the kids who enjoy reading excels in school, particularly in literature and language subjects.
It Strengthens Parent-Child Relationship
During day time, you and your kids may have different activities. For instance, you take care of the household or go to work while they spend most of their time at school or outside, playing with friends or doing an after-school activity.
Therefore, during bedtime, be sure to spend a ritual that would strengthen your parent-child relationship, and reading a bedtime story is on top of the list of the things you can do.
As you read and let your child sit or lie down beside you, you are already creating a connection.
Now, you can use this time to start a conversation with your kids. First, start by asking questions that are directly related to the story, like what’s the name of the main character’s best friend, what do they do, etc.
Then, you can ask other things that are somehow related to the story, such as if they have a friend that’s like the character, what would they do if they are in the same situation, etc.
It Improves The Child’s Wellbeing
Even a young preschool student can be exposed to stress due to separation from parents or any change, so as early as now, we should be aware of our child’s mental health.
Whether your child has anxiety or not, you can help reduce stress and improve their wellbeing by simply reading a book, and off course, adding loads of cuddles.
Other than creating a safe and warm place for your child during bedtime stories, the characters in the book can also help build confidence and coping skills.
It Is More Enjoyable Than Screen Time
And parents, I am not making this up.
My son watches a lot of YouTube videos during the day (I’m guilty) but I haven’t seen him as enthusiastic as he is during bedtime stories. I hear him laugh and see him very interested in the stories, no matter if we’ve read it a hundred times. He’s very active in choosing books and often, he wants me to read ten stories before we go to sleep.
Through reading, your child does not only learn a lot of things but also, visualize many scenes. It’s like watching their favorite cartoons, only ten times better!
It Encourages The Child To Read On Their Own
When you want to encourage your child to read, one of the best ways to do it is by reading them a bedtime story or letting them see you read.
As they say: “your child will follow your example, not your advice.”
So, if you’re having this bedtime ritual at night, there’s a higher chance for your little one to read on their own, therefore, creating an opportunity for them to read regularly and develop the love for books.
It Enhances Emotional Intelligence
During a bedtime story, your child can imagine different kinds of situations and sometimes, the ones they can relate to.
Considering this, it lets your kid feel that they are not alone; that some people or characters are feeling the things they're feeling, too.
And this gives them an idea of how they would manage their emotions or face their own dilemmas.
Reading books also helps them express themselves better while improving their emotional vocabulary. That being said, this activity can reduce emotional meltdowns or tantrums since they don't have to fight their emotions anymore.
Reading a bedtime story is a fun and exciting way to bond with your child. It develops many skills, such as language and imagination. It also enhances emotional intelligence, helping your kids understand and manage their emotions in a better way.
It’s also an activity that’s not only free but also the best way to strengthen your bond with your child. It’s one happy memory that you can tell over and over again when they grow up.
I hope this post inspired you to read more with your kids and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share it in the comment box below.