Bedtime reading is an old tradition and one of the greater pleasures of parenting. Reading a bedtime story to your child while settling down ready for bed is a great habit with many proven benefits. It boosts their creativity, nurtures the parent-child bond and teaches valuable life lessons in a safe and comfortable environment where new ideas can be explored with ease.
For parents, bedtime reading to children is an excellent way of establishing a bedtime routine. It allows for quality time away from screens and it is also a clever way of evading any twilight tantrums.
Here are three reasons why bedtime reading is essential for children:
Establishing a Bedtime Routine and a Great Time to Bond
Reading to your child daily before bed creates a routine, helping children to wind down and get ready to sleep. Many parents also use this technique to ward off the bedtime tantrums children can throw to avoid going to bed. The soothing sound of mum or dad’s voice reading to them softly brings a cosy and loving feeling, which encourages them to feel sleepy. Making bedtime reading a habit and repeating it daily reinforces the routine, which has shown multiple health benefits for the children.
The act of creating a routine before bed goes by the name of sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene helps with getting a sound night’s sleep whilst making waking up refreshed and happy more likely. Good sleep hygiene is linked to good mental health. Instilling a good sleep hygiene routine through bedtime reading can set children up for the future in more ways that just garnering a love of literature.
As a parent, there is nothing cosier than snuggling with your child as you read a bedtime story. Similarly for the child, the experience is also comforting and relaxing and it is known to reduce stress levels, resulting in better sleep and improved performance during the day. Reading before bed offers precious loving moments that further strengthen the special bond between a child and parent.
Nurturing Creativity and Imagination
Listening to bedtime stories offers a different type of mental stimulation compared to using devices and technology. Bedtime reading encourages children to fire up their imagination as they listen to the story and follow the plot. By using their imaginations, children are able to create wonderfully magical worlds. The likes of Roald Dahl and Lewis Carroll are brilliant examples of authors who help to get children’s creativity flowing.
Parents can further cultivate the child’s creativity and imagination by asking them to describe how they perceive the story. These discussions can be invaluable as between parent and child, new stories and ideas can emerge which can even then be used later in imaginative play. Furthermore, discussing stories has benefits for children’s comprehension in school.
Developing a Love for Reading and Stronger Reading Skills
Studies have shown that reading at bedtime to your children has a positive impact on their reading skills. It helps them to develop a love for reading that can last a lifetime. Reading aloud with expression, pausing for punctuation, and using different tones for emphasis are all useful reading skills for children to pick up.
If children are being read to in a way they find exciting, with expression and voices for characters, reading becomes fun. Reading should be fun and exciting for children, and bedtime reading can be the perfect time to show them just how fun and engaging it can be.
There is nothing wrong with being a bookworm.
Now you are aware of some of the important benefits of bedtime reading for your children that aid their intelligence and help them in the long run. If you haven’t started reading to your child at bedtime, start now!