As much as I’d like to say I read to my kids each night before bed, the truth is that I don’t. Some nights are just so crazy with three littles that all I want to do is get them to bed as fast as I can so that I can finally relax and get some self-care time. Other nights, I have work deadlines and need to hurry the kids to bed to finally finish. Then on days I do get to read to them, it becomes a sh*t show when all the kids start fighting and crying over the books they want to read and how many.
I’m trying to make it a nightly thing and solidify it into my bedtime routine because it’s really important for children, especially given we now live in a world where screen time is abundant (which I myself allow, too). The bedtime story routine is important because it’s a time to decompress from the day for the entire family. It’s really the perfect way to end the day as a family, allowing you to reconnect to your kids and more! So if you’re thinking of skipping tonight’s bedtime story, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t:
Many sleep specialists will tell you how reading to your child right before bed actually helps them get a better night’s sleep That’s because reading can help slow down the brain and a parent’s gentle voice can be very soothing to sleepy eyes. Then as your children go to sleep, their brain then continues to dream about the stories you read them. This allows them to get into deeper sleep patterns so that they wake up well rested the next day!
Closure After A Long Day
We live busy, hectic lives so after a long day, reading a story before bed is the perfect way to unwind and close out the day. For your child, it’s the final thing they do each day so it become something they look forward to. When part of a routine, kids know that the day is finally complete. And for parents, it’s a special moment that allows us to slow down time and be present for a few minutes while we read. It’ll be moments you’ll cherish when they get older, and a special experience that’ll be remembered by all.
It’s A Great Way To Bond
Given we have busy days, we might often feel disconnected to our family. To change that, reading right before bed helps you bond with your child and vice versa. This loving bedtime ritual will become your child’s favorite as they feel safe and secure as they are snuggled in your lap or sitting close to you on the bed or floor. Reading at night will bring you and your child closer together after a long day, promoting feelings of unconditional love.
Fuels Their Imagination
Your child’s imagination is a powerful thing and reading to them at night is a great way to fuel that. Books stimulate a child’s brain in ways TV, iPads or videos never will. Listening to stories allows them to imagine the characters and plots, making them think about story even long after you’re done reading. They start forming new ideas about what happens after the story of what would they do if they were the characters.
I know that life gets in the way of my intentions, but I’m going to try very hard to try and make bedtime stories happen each night! Plus, it’ll help them fall in love with reading!
Are bedtime stories important for your nightly family routine?