Top Three Benefits of Reading Bedtime Stories

Author: Onix Dobarganes

The bedtime routine can be the loveliest part of the day with your child - but it can also be fraught and fractious! After a busy and stressful day, when the whole family is run ragged and over tired it can be easy to skip the reading in hopes of getting your child to sleep more quickly. However, there are some important benefits to that bedtime story which should not be overlooked. Here are three to consider before bed tonight…

1. Vocabulary Builder

Reading with your child is the single best way to help support the growth of their vocabulary. Naturally, they will pick up a huge number of words and phrases from the people around them but being exposed to new and alternative words used by a wide variety of authors will give them a great chance to soak up their own language and learn to express themselves in their own way. Let your child know that it is okay to interrupt the story to ask what unknown words mean - and if you are not sure, involve your child in the process of looking the word up and discussing its meaning. You can both learn something new together!

2. Slowing the Mind

If you spend a lot of time with a child, you will have seen firsthand just how quickly their minds can work. At bedtime, those minds are busily processing all the new experiences of the day, thinking over new faces, new places, new foods, and new ideas. Whilst that is important, it does not help a child to relax into sleep. Listening to a story is very soothing, as it allows the mind to calm and focus on one narrative and get ready to drift off to sleep.

3. One-to-one Time

Overall, children love to have bedtime stories read to them. Often, they do not care which book it is, they just ask for a story, any story. That is because what they are really enjoying is the one-to-one time they share with their adult. Although you may be focused on reading the book, you are also giving your child uninterrupted attention. Taking ten minutes to read them a story at the end of the day shows them that there is nothing more important than them during that ten minutes - they are not having to fight for your attention or put in any effort at all - you are just giving them your focus and physical nearness and blocking out the rest of the world. This is very reassuring and calming, and helps toward setting them up for a peaceful, untroubled night’s sleep.

So, next time bedtime is late, rushed, and chaotic, think twice about whether skipping the bedtime story will be helpful in the long run. Prioritizing it will have benefits for both - your child and you; so, take that time to escape together into a story.

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