Reading before bed can make up an important part of your child’s bedtime routine. A bedtime routine is important in general, because it promotes development and improves well-being for the child, as well as an improved sleep.
Many children do not hear bedtime stories...
But did you know that only 4% of parents read a bedtime story to their children every night? Only 1 in 10 children hear a bedtime story each night before they go to sleep.
Experts say that the perfect length of time for bedtime stories is 10-15 minutes as this covers time for a child to gain excitement whilst avoiding disturbing their sleep hours.
A bedtime story before sleep helps children to explore their imagination and discover their thought progress. As well as serving as an educational tool for everyday life skills, bedtime stories can help children to face a new challenge or scenario that they wouldn’t face otherwise in day-to-day life.
Story time helps children to learn
Story time is a great way to teach children in a fun, engaging manner, how to achieve positivity in life and how to succeed.
...and improves sleep patterns
The activity of reading before bed can reduce the time it takes for a child to fall asleep. This is because reading a book in bed works as a stress reliever. The child focuses on the story and characters from the book, instead of any worries or stresses in their everyday life. Children become eager to think further about the storyline and characters, therefore their mind wanders and is taken into a different perspective.
By distracting the child’s brain with new information or a story, it can encourage happiness and positive thoughts before sleep.
Stronger bond between the parent and child
Infact, reading a story in bed has proven to benefit the bond between children and their parents. The personal, one-on-one time together where you can also cuddle up, is a great way to spend quality time with your child.
Parents, it also works well as a stress reliever for you too! Who would have thought that children’s story books could make you feel more positive and relaxed?!
Research shows that 60% of us parents feel that reading to our children brings us closer. This is because reading improves listening and conversation skills between a child and their parents. It is a unique experience and often stories will focus on important lessons such as behaviour, feelings and relationships - which are all important for a child to learn about!
Repeating stories isn't a bad idea...
You can even read the same book multiple times, especially with younger children. You may have noticed the repetition of words throughout children’s books - particularly with toddlers. The repetition plays an important role as children become more familiar with specific words, sounds and noises. Thus this encourages children to use these words in day-to-day life and expands their vocabulary.
Reading is a great way for a child to wind-down and relax before sleeping. It is a great activity where there are not any screens involved, and in general it has been found that reading helps young children to sleep for longer periods of time.
So parents, if you don't already then make sure you take 10-15 minutes at the end of the evening to read a story with your child in bed. There are massive benefits for both your child and yourself as a parent!