I’m an imperfect parent. Sometimes I get mad, sometimes I get frustrated, and others I just feel completely overwhelmed by the awesome task that is raising actual human people. However, when I sit down to read with my kids at the end of the day, I know I’m doing something right. Reading to children, even when they’re tiny little tots, really is the gift that keeps giving and will set them up for the rest of their lives. Here are just some of the advantages that you can give your child by making story telling a regular thing:
Big up your bond by bringing a book to the bedtime routine. Reading with your little one doesn’t just help them to settle before bed, it brings you closer and helps to maintain a loving relationship. Regular storytelling encourages children to talk to you and to ask questions in a safe, warm environment. If your kids get into the habit of engaging with you on a daily basis when they’re very young, you will find it much easier to communicate with them when they reach the dreaded teenage years. As anyone who is the parent of teenagers will tell you, that is worth its weight in gold!
Invaluable concentration skills that will help kids to succeed at school and in later life. You’ve created the perfect sleep environment, even splashing out on beds for toddlers from Cuckooland. But that’s only half the battle in teaching your little ones to self-soothe and settle themselves into a good night’s sleep. Reading a story before settling down forces them to concentrate on the tale, to shut out any distractions and achieve a feeling of calm. There are many adults who have difficulty doing this, so your bedtime story can put your child at a huge advantage when it comes to succeeding academically, personally and in their career.
Develop empathy with books. Great fictional tales draw the reader in by encouraging us to identify with the characters. Children who are read to are better able to appreciate and understand the feelings of others, which makes them better friends, partners, and colleagues in the future.
Reading to your child every evening might initially seem like a bit of a chore, especially when you just want to kick back with a glass of wine and your favourite box set. However, it is the single best way to give kids a leg up in life, and they will benefit from your reading sessions long into adulthood. When they get a little older, it’s still worth keeping up the routine, as research has shown. To get started, check out some great reads on this page. You might surprise yourself and reignite your own love of a great book at the same time!