Parenting Hobbies

8 Benefits of reading bedtime stories to your child

Sumitra Gopal
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8 Benefits of reading bedtime stories to your child

Jerry and KikI turned 8 and 5 a few weeks ago. Amongst all their birthday presents they most enjoyed books that they received. Our association with books started when they were a few months old. They loved their brightly coloured soft books. We would spend hours looking, touching and feeling the various textures and patterns. Once they were about 10 months old, Nakul and I would read picture books to them at bedtime. Books have been our best friends since.

When Should You Start Reading To Your Child?

The process of introducing reading to your child starts from the minute the baby is born, as it helps if the mother recites nursery rhymes to the baby while playing with him or her or even while massaging and bathing. At around 3-4 months, babies understand the different tones so if you read to your baby, he or she may not understand the storyline but he or she will definitely enjoy the time spent with you.

Why Is It Important To Read To Your Child?

In order to introduce books to your child, it is important that you start by reading out to them initially. When your child is young he or she will try to resist reading on their own. So every night make it a ritual of cuddling with him or her and read a chapter from a book. The best way to keep your toddler engrossed in the story is to enact the story while reading for instance – change your voice when you are reading the dialogues of a lion, or a mouse and if there is a human being.

What Are The Reading Patterns You Can Observe In Children?

Children love to re-read books that they enjoy. This is because their reading becomes faster and the story more interesting. As parents, our responsibility is to identify when they got into such a comfort zone and give them that gentle push to read other books. For instance, Jerry loves to read Geronimo Stilton. He must have read and re- read all 10 volumes of the Kingdom of Fantasy multiple times to a point he could recite the paragraphs verbatim. It was the same with Kiki and The Very Hungry Caterpillar (when she was 2)! We had to steer them to Roald Dhal and Mary Osborne!

Change is often resisted and naturally our children did not want to leave their favourite books. So we decided to read one page and they would read one page. We did this once and they were hooked on to their new authors!

How To Make Children Read Books That Don't Have Pictures?

The challenge is compounded when children graduate from books with pictures to those without. To overcome this challenge, we all started reading for 10 minutes after dinner time with our respective books. Children like to copy adults, although Jerry didn't start reading his non-picture books, his acceptance for Harry Potter increased.

How Do I Monitor The Content Of What My Child Reads?

I don't stop the children from reading any topic, however I keep a hawk eye on anything they pick up for I want to ensure the content is age appropriate. This is especially true for bed time stories. I want them to go to bed with pleasant thoughts for sweeter dreams!

8 Benefits Of Reading Bedtime Stories To Children

Reading has numerous benefits and I am enlisting 8 of them here. These are the benefits my children have reaped from reading.

  1. Comprehension skills: The children have matured in their understanding of various topics. Their logical abilities have developed and they are able to comprehend topics better
  2. Imagination: The world of stories has made Jerry and Kiki vivid in their imagination and this reflects in their storytelling, drawing and conversations
  3. Ability to correlate: We start reading with the title, author and what the book could possibly be about. Once we have read the book, we go back to see if it was indeed what they thought at the beginning
  4. Developing clarity of thought: While we are reading books, we stop at phrases, words and sentences that are well written and try to use in our conversation or in journal writings (Kiki draws the pictures for she is too little to write). Interesting isn’t it. This is a good way to retain a new word, phrase as well
  5. Asking questions: Most of our reading time is spent answering questions that Jerry and Kiki have and often the questions are unrelated. How does this help? It helps them to ask questions when they don't understand something. They don't just accept things that don't make sense to them even though it's written in books or because we are telling them something. It's tough at times but also necessary
  6. Enhanced vocabulary: Books are a great source to increase your child’s vocabulary thus making them better writers and story tellers. This has greatly helped the children become more articulate. With a gentle push Jerry has started writing journals! With an increased vocabulary and better understanding of words, my 5 year old uses words like resilience and compatibility in the proper context!
  7. Fruitfully occupied: Our dependence on TV, phone and tablets is very Low. One big reason being that we read books when we have free time and not the vice versa. Whenever we are bored, we take out a book and read it
  8. Relaxed sleep: The 15-20 minutes we spend with our books before bed have a calming effect of Jerry and Kiki. They fall asleep easily and they sleep peacefully through the night. Since we read pleasant stuff, we have had almost no episodes of nightmares or bad dreams!

The benefits of reading are galore. The most precious one is the cuddling in bed just before sleeping. It's our family bonding time and one which we all look forward to!

Did you like the blog on benefits of reading by Sumitra Gopal? Do you know more benefits of reading? Please do share it in the comments section below, as we would love to hear from you.

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Gayatri Deshpande Chaudhari

| Sep 19, 2017

very useful....

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Aloka Sumeet Puthli

| Sep 14, 2017

thanks

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Pooja Goyal

| Sep 13, 2017

I

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Krishna priya

| Sep 13, 2017

Hi my daughter is 5 yrs old. she loves me reading out story books and also books abt plants birds and animals. but in story book if any negative is coming even a small thing she will stop listening example if we say lion caught into hunter's net her face will change she will ask me to stop reading. All story will have a good ending since she is stopping in between she is knowing only the negative part. kindly help how to overcome this.

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Redlapalli PK

| Sep 13, 2017

very nice. my son is 6yrs old. plz suggest some best story books

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Swagatika Mishra

| Sep 13, 2017

Nice message. Thanks for sharing. Pls suggest some bed time stories for my 7yr kids

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Neha Aggarwal

| Sep 13, 2017

plz suggest some story book for 3 year

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Deepti Pawar

| Sep 13, 2017

very nice and useful article

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Gita kumari

| Sep 13, 2017

Thankyou so much for sharing important blog

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Savitha Kota

| Sep 13, 2017

very informative

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Sheetal Neelopant

| Sep 13, 2017

Hey nice message. thanks a lot for sharing.. plz suggest a good book my daughter.. she is now 6 years old...

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Madhuri Kor

| Sep 13, 2017

Hi, nice blog. please suggest some books for age group 5 to 7.

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Pooja Nayak

| Sep 13, 2017

Sumitra Gopal - Very well written. Any suggestions for my kid of 4. 5 years would definately helpful.. also is it better i start with the picture books first?

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Mukta

| Sep 13, 2017

hi , thanks to you for sharing the blog. Could you pls suggest the books for age group of 9yrs

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Bhagavatham Navala

| Sep 12, 2017

Thank you for sharing

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Savitasingh

| Sep 12, 2017

hi, can you recommend some book for age group 3-4yr

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Shreshta Sathish

| Sep 11, 2017

at what age can we start reading out to babies??

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puloma pandey

| Sep 11, 2017

nice blog ,thanks for the blog.

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