Bedtime stories are not just important, they are necessary during the early childhood years. Numerous scientific evidence suggests the importance of reading for kids for their future social and physical development.
Why Should You Read Children’s Books With Your Child Every Night? How Important Even Is It?
Scientists are confirming, it is very important! Recent research suggests that children involved in shared reading activities with their parents showed neural activation of the right side of the cerebellum brain area. The cerebellum brain area is responsible for speech function and movement development. Thus, shared reading activities help in boosting your child's cerebellum brain area, which contributes further positively to your child’s brain and muscle development.
Moreover, research also suggests the connection between shared reading and language, and social and emotional integration of the child.
How Bedtime Stories Can Strengthen Your Relationships?
We all love our children. But, sometimes the child to parent relationships can hit a rough patch, for example during adolescence.
Evidently, children who spend more time with their parents during early childhood years are much less likely to show impulsive and resentful behavior during teenage years (learn how daycare can affect your child). And there is no more intimate and educational way to spend time than during shared bedtime reading activities.
What Book Should You Choose For Your Bedtime Stories Time?
This is a good question, but the answer is - it is completely up to you and your child. Take a look at your child’s interest and passions. It definitely should be something that he/she is interested in.
Is your child wondering where he/she came from? Then it should be children’s book about childbirth. If your child is having problems sharing, making friends, respecting other people’s "personal bubble", etc.? Then, it definitely should be a book about one of these issues.
For How Long Should You Read Books For Your Child?
Starting as early as infancy you should keep reading for and with your child till your child enjoys the process and it feels natural. Most likely around 8-10 years of age, your child will be comfortable reading by himself/herself. That is the time when you can start getting your child his/her own books. Instead of reading children's books together you can discuss your various favorite books together!
As for how long the bedtime storytelling should last – it should be around 15-25 minutes. It should not be too long to keep your child awake at night and not too short to eliminate the calming and nurturing effect.
Keep in mind, reading with your child before going to bed is not just a soothing and calming activity before going to bed! Shared reading acts like an intellectual stimulator that can positively affect not just your child’s ability to learn how to read but overall cognitive, emotional and social development as well.