What is it about a bedtime story that can transform a mundane evening into something magical? To read a bedtime story is an age old tradition that probably has its roots in oral story telling traditions of ancient civilizations. From the beginning of time, parents have used stories to teach, entertain and bond with their children. Stories root children in a specific culture and provide wings to experience other worlds in the safety of their bedrooms.
Here are five reasons to keep on reading bedtime stories to your children:
1. It Creates A Shared Adventure
Many parents and children spent most weekdays apart from each other. Reading a story together just before bedtime gives parents and children an opportunity to focus their attention on a mutual activity. It creates intimacy to travel to far off lands or experience the exploits of a daring character. Parents can also use the themes of stories as a platform to talk to their children about their feelings.
2. It Creates A Ritual
Children thrive on routine. In fact, having a predictable evening routine is one of the sanity saving tricks parents can use to help children go to bed more easily. A family ritual is an event that happens frequently in a family’s life and transmits a feeling of security and belonging to family members. Family rituals are predictable, pleasurable and contains frequently repeated phrases. You can easily create a bedtime ritual by reading to your child every night before he goes to bed.
3. It Creates A Bond
Reading aloud to your child before bedtime creates intimacy at a time when your child is receptive for your affection and attention. Being together in his room, snuggling under the blankets and sharing favorite books set the stage for creating lasting memories. Adults remember fondly the books that were read to them as children and often the same feeling of belonging can be reinvoked by pages through an old favorite book.
4. It Winds Children Down
The soothing, rhythmical sound of a mother- or father’s read aloud voice is the perfect way to wind a child down after an exciting day. Often children are too wound up to go to sleep by the time dinner and bath time is completed. Reading a story together in a cozy setting is the perfect way to create the right atmosphere to go to sleep.
5. It Fills Their Heads With Lofty Ideas At A Receptive Time
Choose your bedtime stories carefully and make sure that it is stories that inspire, uplift and encourage. Your child will most probably think about the story as he goes to sleep and take the message of the story with him into dreamland. Choose living books that will inspire your child with worthwhile ideas during this receptive time.
Reading a bedtime story is an age old tradition that is well worth keeping. Not only will it help your child to wind down, but it will also give you a precious opportunity to connect with your child at the end of a busy day.