5 Reasons Bedtime Stories are More Important Than You Think
Like every other parent, I focused all my energies on my first child. I made sure he inculcated reading as one of his habits when he was very young. Eeshan was a very active kid and had a small span of attention. Every night I maintained a routine of giving him a nice massage, changing him into his night clothes and then I would read bedtime stories to him. An important part of the routine was to always switch on the Activ mode of the Goodknight Activ+ to keep us protected from dangerous disease-causing mosquitoes while indoors.
We started reading stories to him when he was just 1.5 years old and while I was not sure how much he understood, I would try and catch his attention with animated gestures and sounds. He would at times climb all over my face and even run around the bed but I pursued.
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Later at 3-3.5 years, I would have to read him the same story again and again as listened with big eyes and rapt attention. This went on for many years and then when he was 5 years old I taught him how to read on his own. Then there was no stopping him.
We made it a point to take him to a bookstore every week and never say no to any book he wanted to buy. Today at 11 years of age he cannot sleep without a book and is a voracious reader. And to think the base of it all was those bedtime stories.
Just to counter this theory let me also mention we did not actively inculcate this habit into my younger one (7 years) at a younger stage and while he reads well, he is not a voracious reader and his love for books is not as great as my elder one.
Studies prove that people who read literature with strong characters tend to display higher levels of empathy and emotional intelligence by being able to “feel” the characters. Here are some of the benefits of reading bedtime stories to your kids;
Unless we read stories to our kids, visual stimulation from these does not tap into their imagination.
Build a bond with your child
Bedtime storytime is something my kids always look forward to and also helps us bond. Not only do they listen to the stories, but also many more stories of what is happening in their lives get revealed casually. Writing this post, I am also reminiscing those times. While we do have short nighttime chats now, I have to make it a routine again.
Gently introduces life lessons
Bedtime stories are a great way of introducing them to moral lessons and life lessons gently or even introducing them to new concepts.
Establishes a habit
When you maintain a routine then it goes a long way in establishing a habit. Whether it is reading to them or anything else. Just notice if you miss even a day, they will remind you.
Converts them into future writers.
Anyone who loves to read and broadens their imaginative horizons through books will eventually make for a good writer.
I cannot emphasize more on why I think bedtime stories are so important for a child’s development. Do not leave your kids prey to their devices. I understand as moms we are very tired at the end of the day but you can ask your partner to read to your kid on alternate days but do read to them as it will go a long way :).