Parents everywhere are sure to have experienced their child’s tantrums at bedtime at some point. Whether it’s age-old excuses of reasons why they’re just not tired, wanting to stay up for one more game, or the common internal battle of not letting themselves fall to sleep even though they’re shattered, children seem to have a million tricks up their sleeves to delay heading to the land of nod.
Thankfully, children aren’t the only ones with clever methods for bedtimes. Reading a bedtime story to your children can be a wonderful way to encourage sleep, as well as having many more benefits.
Keeping up a routine
Reading to your child every night can help them get into “bed mode”. Once they’re tucked up and getting stuck in to a good story, it can help your child to prepare themselves for sleep, relaxing and becoming sleepy without having to battle to get them to bed.
It’s also a good idea to encourage your child to love reading too. When reading before bed has been part of their evening routine since they were young, you may find they take to reading independently much more easily too.
Creating a bond
Reading time before bed can often act as a precious few moments of calm that just the two of you share. With busy modern day schedules it can often be difficult to find time for just the pair of you, so getting cosy with a book can help you connect at the end of each day.
This calming time can also be a great way to de-stress, for both you and your child. If either of you have had a particularly exciting, busy or even difficult day, a little quiet time can work wonders so neither of you are getting into bed with a busy mind.
Boosting their creativity
Reading to your child helps them to develop their imagination skills. Transporting them into wonderfully magical worlds, introducing new characters and following a plot can help them to create images in their heads.
The descriptive language that is often used in children’s books can help make this easier for them too. It’s also a great idea to talk about what you’ve read together, and get your children to describe how they see the story going too.
Aiding their intelligence
On top of all the other benefits bedtime reading has, it can also help to boost your child’s intelligence. Studies have shown
that it can help develop their logic skills, as well as encourage language development – especially when as the reader you add emphasis and emotion to the words.
As your children get older, reading chapter-based books together is a great way to encourage patience in your child. Having to wait for the next time you read together to find out what happens is a good way to practice these skills, without being tempted to rush!
Developing a bedtime routine is a great way to build a healthy sleep routine from a young age. For more handy tips on getting it right, read our The Importance of a Bedtime Routine