Children are undoubtedly our most precious investments, for we are completely invested in giving our children a loving life full of opportunities and growth. Nurturing a child’s mind and inculcating healthy habits can be a challenging task, but if you start from the very first day, you will see guaranteed progress in their ability to learn and grow.
Tucking up your child in bed, your arm snuggling her against your chest, book in hand, and your voice filling up the room with a story that excites, beguiles and entices her. This is a nightly habit for most family, for adopting the role of a storyteller is a strategy that all parents consider valuable building strong relationships.
Modern research gives ample importance to the activity of bedtime reading, for this ingenious tool helps shape the mind of your child, eventually having long-lasting impacts on his/her personality.
Let’s take a look at some incredible reasons that signify the importance of bedtime reading:
Cultivate the Mind
As parents, our first and foremost concern is to provide all children all the essential tools they require to hold an educated, promising and fulfilling life. Naturally, the task of educating a child begins at home, starting right from the moment this little bundle of joy arrives home from the hospital. If you start reading to your toddler at bedtime, this activity of reading will serve as a fundamental foundation that promotes the growth of essential brain pathways that encourage learning amongst kids.
According to John Hutton, a leading researcher of child development,
‘Reading exposure during the critical stage of development prior to nursery seems to have a meaningful, measurable impact on how a child’s brain processes stories and may help predict reading success.’
Improve Speech & Reading
We all want our children to become confident and eloquent speakers, well then, we all must put in the effort it takes to help them become so. Bedtime reading aids in improving their basic speech, along with making them better readers. You see, reading to your child at bedtime can help improve their communication skills, which is extremely important to instill the confidence to read out in class, or even make new friends.
Boost Attention Span & Reasoning
Most teenagers suffer from the inability to concentrate on one subject for too long, which can be blamed on the rampant use of the internet and other technological devices. However, when your child has grown up with the habit of bedtime reading with you throughout his/her childhood, the simple act of continuing a story by reading a few pages every day can have remarkable effects on their attention span.
It helps them develop a longer span of attention, allowing them to focus better at school, and have an overall successful academic life. Moreover, following a story on a daily basis promotes logical thinking, and as they imagine all the hurdles and challenges their favorite characters are likely to face, they become better at using logic and reasoning.
Expanding their Vocabulary
When parents read to their children each night, they make a contribution towards improving their language skills and their ability to converse. According to the book, What’s Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life, by Lise Elliot, Ph.D. in neuroscience, reading with your child allows him/her to learn more words and amass a large vocabulary because stories and books introduce children to new objects, scenarios, ideas, creatures, places, lives and much more.
They get the chance to interact with characters and objects that are far from their immediate environment, which allows them to build their own personal dictionary. Therefore, it is always best to pick out storybooks that have a colourful and rich vocabulary, so you can introduce your children to amazing new words with every page.
A Rich Imagination
A rich and vivid imagination is triggered by a strong ability to develop visual associations, and it is crucial for success in all aspects of life. A recent study by Dr. Hutton attempted to analyze the association between bedtime reading for young children and language development during school years.
The results revealed that children who were read to by their parents had much more brain activity in regions linked with the visual association, despite having no visual aids. When children are capable of using their powers of imagination and the ability to create visual associations, they are likely to live a happier life, become independent individuals, and of course, avid readers throughout their lives.
Helping them Understand Emotions
Reading is one of the most beneficial tools that allows us to rejuvenate our emotional health, and any passionate reader can tell how much it helps him/her uplift their moods. Naturally, bedtime reading will introduce your child to countless stories that will deal with a wide range of emotions, which is why bedtime is always the safest environment to introduce your little ones to powerful emotions. You can also trigger certain emotional changes in your child by making them empathize with stories and characters that can teach them an impactful moral lesson of empathy.
Bonding with your Kid
When you read to your child every night, you carve out a moment for you to be alone with your baby and indulge in an activity where you both can form a stronger connection by simply sharing experiences. Naturally, sharing these experiences will also provide you with an abundance of topics to discuss and converse about. And your child will always remember you for inculcating this habit of reading for this bedtime reading ritual will open up an entire world of literature, a seed that you’ve sown in their minds.
Repetition Breeds Security
The structural repetition of a bedtime schedule, which indicates that the day has ended and it’s time for their nightly story. When parents have a firm yet loving attitude about bedtime, children tend to feel much more confident and secure for repetition makes little ones comfortable. Now, this explains why they keep insisting on hearing the same story over and over again.