Reading aloud to children is important in their early years and has a great impact on their development and future learning. Stories, whether told or read out from books, are one of the ways children learn to enjoy reading. The books they read can become their friends. Stories can help children cope with many feelings and problems and they learn things about the world just by enjoying the story.
As an infant, though the baby may not understand the words or follow the narrative, reading stories aloud at bedtime should be practiced from the beginning.
Reading together is a process in which many special memories are created that involve the parent and the child. Many parents do not realize the importance of bedtime stories. It is a time when children not only pays special attention to the story, the characters, the plot and the lessons that can be learned from the story but also the special bond that is created between the parent and the child.
Listed below are the importances of bedtime stories:
- Daily Routine: Children need to have some daily routine in their lives. Reading a bedtime story together is a great way to start. This has a calming effect on not only the child but also the parents who are busy throughout the day.
- Bonding: Being with the child at the end of the day is a great way to help build a closer bond with the child. This is indeed a unique bond. This is also the time when the parent gets to hear the opinions of the child, and the child his parent’s. This may sound like a simple conversation but this interaction is also a way of getting to know the child.
- Reading preparedness: The child should be exposed to as many books, words, and sounds as possible. By listening to the stories, a child can see and hear different types of sound words, learn how to pronounce appropriately and expand their vocabulary. This will ensure that the child becomes a successful reader when he reaches the appropriate age.
- Comprehension and logic: Listening to bedtime stories help children develop comprehension and logic skills that are important to both the communication process and the development of educational skills. They learn the various components of a story, learn how to predict events that happen in a story, and also learn how to recall events in a particular sequence about stories that they have heard. This will provide them with a skill set that will be beneficial throughout their educational career.
- Communication: Bedtime stories instill important elements of communication in a child. We all communicate through written word, verbal methods, listening and body language. Reading to the child helps raise awareness as to how to effectively communicate with others. Conversations with the child about the stories which have been narrated help increase the vocabulary of the child. Later on, they will be able to use descriptive phrases and use body language to express what they feel and think.
- Morals and values: Parents should choose books and stories with moral values. These morals and values often reflect how people should treat others and what is important in life. It is difficult to explain to the little children the values and morals and these stories are a great way of doing just that. Simple but effective.
Parents should understand that bedtime stories are far more important than just cute little stories and cultivate the joys of reading by encouraging bedtime story sessions.