Reading bedtime stories to your kids may seem to be a very simple act done every night. It may seem boring and repetitive to some parents. Ten minutes may seem like a long time especially after a long day at work but remember that those 10 minutes can make a huge difference in the mental and emotional development of your children. If you are not already doing so, here are some convincing reasons to read bedtime stories to your kids:
1. Alternative Lullaby
Can’t sing or feeling awkward to strike a note to put your child to bed? Then try reading bedtime stories. We are fortunate in this day and age because of the availability of books and materials that we can use for “bedtime storytime”. Reading stories is an alternative lullaby that you may want to explore. It’s actually a good time to also practice pronunciation, diction and voice modulation.
2. Reading Culture
Children who love reading are raised by parents who read to them. By reading bedtime stories to our children, we build a reading culture starting in our homes. Studies have shown that children who love reading have higher chances of succeeding in school and later in life (whatever success means to you). I personally believe that children who read become adults who can make well-informed choices and decisions.
3. Wide Imagination
A forest grew in Max’s room and then a private boat tumbled by and brought him to the place “where the wild things are”. How about that for expanding your child’s imagination. Every time I tell this story to my twins, their eyes grow as big as the moon and they listen intently to what I say.
Reading to my kids is one of my most treasured moments as a mother. When they become adults, I'd like them to remember those evenings when I put them in their cribs and read stories to them. I’d like to be that storyteller Mom that they can emulate when they become parents themselves. When I finally say “good night”, Nicholas brings his face near me to give me a kiss and then crawls under his blanket. What could be more precious than that?
In every story we tell (or repeat) to our children, they learn something. Stories teach culture and values. They teach grammar and vocabulary. We help our children become smarter and perform better in school when we read to them. The school or the teacher can only do so much in giving lessons and teaching our children about this and that. We need to do our share. The school-home tandem is a great formula in producing great learners.
6. Language Mastery
Every time we repeat a story to our children, we are helping them master the language. We indirectly teach them the correct way to pronounce “moon” or “hush”. We introduce new words to them, which adds to their vocabulary. Don’t be surprised when you hear your child using the words you usually read to them. That is an expected result of reading to your child.
7. Brain Exercise
Most stories are told in chronological order and so we teach them basic storytelling techniques or order of events. I’m not against television but I feel that TV is a passive medium and does not allow much brain processing. My argument is: reading stories to your child, in the flesh, allows the brain to work more. Imagine your child thinking: “Why is my Mom changing her voice? Cow, what is that? Why was Max lonely?” And then, when they are old enough, they can even ask you questions. The answers they get from Mom or Dad, not from a delayed telecast in an idiot box.
What’s your favorite bedtime story?