Children’s bedtime: the benefits of story telling
A bedtime routine is essential for getting any child to sleep through the night consistently. But did you know the benefits of including a bedtime story each night?
Although it might seem like a menial task for parents, storytelling is invaluable for your child’s growth.
TEMPUR looks at how reading bedtime stories can help you foster relationships with your children, prepare them for sleep and even boost their brain development…
The importance of a bedtime routine
The benefits of sleep in both adults and children are endless: sleep helps reduce stress, allows our bodies time to restore themselves, and most importantly, supports growth and development.
As a parent, a child’s sleeping pattern can affect your own, meaning perfecting the bedtime routine is even more important. It provides an opportunity to show your child love and affection, whilst helping them to feel safe and secure.
A bedtime routine will allow your child time to wind down and prepare for sleep, something essential to their development. Part of this process might include a bath, brushing their teeth, or reading a bedtime story.
The benefits of story telling
Perfecting bedtime will mean a higher quality of sleep for both you and your children, but another important part is story telling.
While you might think reading bedtime stories only helps your little one doze off to the sound of your voice, there are a multitude of other benefits, including:
- Development of imagination – reading fictional stories to children encourages them to use their imagination and picture the scene in their head
- Deeper understanding of the world – story telling is fun and exciting, but also enables anyone to experience different cultures and traditions. Children learn new information about the world without even realising, and as a result, develop greater empathy
- Parent-child bonding – reading to your child is quality time for both you and them, helping to foster a positive relationship
- Communication and social skills – reading bedtime stories helps children’s communication skills grow immensely. They ask questions about the story, whilst also learning new vocabulary and increasing their focus. Socially, children learn to listen to others through storytelling, and begin to understand that not everyone interprets things the same way
- More likely to read for pleasure – reading to children when they’re young means they’re more likely to continue reading for pleasure as they grow. This will enable them to learn independently from books
How to create the perfect bedtime story
Every story is different, but if you’re taking a creative approach and inventing a story for your little one, try the following:
- Be imaginative but peaceful, as the aim is for them to sleep!
- Aim to teach a lesson or moral through the story
- Ask for your child’s input
- Include your child in the story
- Leave it open ended as this will encourage them to imagine what happens next
Length is also important however each child is different. Some may ask for another and another, whereas with others you might not reach the end!
Do you have any tips for getting your children to sleep? What are your child’s favourite bedtime stories? Let us know in the comments below…