Your child’s bedtime is a great opportunity to build and nurture your relationship with them. You can spend it however you want, but one of the best things to do before you tuck them in is to read with them. In an article for The Guardian, education correspondent Sally Weale wrote that the childhood tradition of bedtime stories are in serious danger. “Parents are not making the time to read to their children at the end of the working day,” she wrote. A study included in the same article reveals that 83% of children enjoy being read to, with 68% calling it a “special time” with their parents. Apart from being a good bonding activity, reading has plenty of other benefits.
It helps to improve your child’s brain development
A study from Psychological Science suggests that reading to your kids not only helps build their vocabulary, it also helps them to be more prepared to read in the future. The younger you start the better. This also reflects current views on the importance of psychology on a child’s learning ability and their brain development. Doctor G. Reid Lyon from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development presented neural research that shows that when parents and caregivers read to kids, they learn a great deal more. "There's a clear indication of a neurological difference between kids who have been regularly read to and kids who have not," Dr. Lyon states. This is a key reason why Maryville University reports that more professionals are recognizing the connection between education and psychology. These findings are not just for education institutes; it will also give parents an opportunity to help foster their child’s brain development in their early years. This will in turn have a positive affect when they start their education.
It helps your children handle stress better
Repetition and structure can help children feel safe, as routine is one of the most comforting things for young children. Reading aloud to your children can help lower their stress levels, too, which will allow them to deal with everyday anxieties much better. Making bedtime stories part of your children’s evening routine can give them a daily anchor and provide structure to their early development.
It makes your child more empathetic
Storybooks are rich with all sorts of characters. Psychology Today points out that in-depth portrayals of these characters’ thoughts and feelings allows your kids to fill in the missing pieces, strengthening their innate sense of empathy. Reading books about underdogs and bullies is a great way to use artificial conflict to help them learn what is right and wrong. Ask your kids what they would do if they were the characters in the story, as this reflection process is where deep learning can happen.
It creates valuable family connections
Many parents don’t spend enough quality time with their children. A bedtime story will create a stronger bond, as it shows them that you are more than willing to give them your time. This is something that will have a positive influence on their lives. Time and attention are two of the most important things you can give your children.
Don’t worry about your children outgrowing bedtime stories, as there are plenty of books you can choose from that would be appropriate no matter their age. The list of books we recommended on My Urban Toddler ranges from simple ones like Love You Hoo and Go, Dog. Go! to more complex stories like How to Babysit A Grandma and Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave. Let your kids lead you to the right books.
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Content by: JBamberg