Children are easily influenced by adults, and one of the best ways to shape their growing up is via bedtime stories. Stories, as you may know, are some of the most powerful tools that we humans possess. They are also how various myths, legends, and lore get passed down from one generation to the next.
Sadly, many parents nowadays do not have the time to read bedtime stories to their children. This situation needs to be rectified because stories can play a critical role in a child’s mental development.
Why Bedtime Stories Are Beneficial
1. It Improves Your Child’s Comprehension
We will begin with the most obvious advantage: better language abilities for your little ones. From reading comprehension to listening abilities and literacy, reading can teach your young one new aptitudes. It can also potentially give him/her an edge when starting formal education.
2. It Cultivates a Reading Habit
It’s no secret that many successful people also read a lot, so why not give your child a heads up with bedtime stories? Ending your kid’s day with bedtime stories can also help cultivate a healthy lifelong reading habit.
Give this a read if you are still unconvinced that being literate at a young age matters.
3. It Develops Good Communication Skills
Reading stories helps improve your child’s oral abilities, listening capacity, and memory. It’s also a good way to reinforce his/her understanding of grammar and vocabulary from an early age.
4. It Promotes Discovery and Creativity
Listening to stories will allow your child to visualize the scenes unfolding in their own mind, even if it’s a picture book. He/she will also have the opportunity to be vicariously exposed to new things, thus making it easier to recognize these objects in real life.
5. It Strengthens Familial Bond
Children bond deeply with those they spend the most time with, and you as a parent have to ensure that you allocate sufficient time each day to be with your kids. This applies even if you happen to be a busy person.
Bedtime stories are thus the perfect opportunity for the both of you to not only go on a journey together but also to discuss the nuances (if any).
Building this bond early on will also help minimize the chance of your child feeling alienated from you when he/she gets older. It could also prevent your child from turning into society’s bad apples when he/she reaches adulthood.
6. It Helps Create a Regular Sleep Schedule
Children require more sleep than adults, but many are instead addicted to their smart gadgets, which can negatively affect their sleeping patterns.Bedtime stories can act as an alternative by giving your child something to look forward when it comes to bedtime.
Ways to Make Bedtime Stories More Interesting
1. Try to Make It Fun
Always remember to involve your kid in the story as much as you can by making funny faces, hand gestures, and varying your voice to keep the energy going. This will enable your child to get even more excited about the book’s storyline.
2. Have a Comfortable Reading Environment
It can be a good idea to build a home library if space permits. It doesn’t have to be a big one either as long as it can comfortably fit a few bookshelves.
Another alternative is to place a bookshelf or two in your child’s bedroom and let them fill it up with books they enjoy or those that you think will benefit them. Ensure that the room is reading-friendly with a comfortable bed or seat, shelf, and appropriate lighting.
4. Engage With the Visuals in the Books
There is a reason why children’s books tend to be colorful: they attract attention. Younger children should begin with heavily-illustrated books before transitioning into something more complex as they age.
A fantastic way to engage your child is to explain to them things that they don’t understand using simple words. Combining words with pictures will stimulate your child’s brain to create associations, thus making it easier to store in his/her long-term memory.
Editor’s note: we strongly encourage that you read your child physical books instead of digital books because of the various advantages the former have over the latter.