Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

The magic in bedtime stories

Chrisley Ann Hinayas - Banat

CEBU, Philippines - Do you read stories to your child before he goes to sleep?

If yes, then, you are raising a reader and an imaginative child. If not, better start flipping those pages tonight, because science shows there is tremendous benefit in doing so.

Many parents would agree that as much as they want to spend quality time with their toddlers after work, they are just too tired to actually do it. So, how would parents make up to their little ones? Read bedtime stories, researchers say.

Bedtime stories have long been acknowledged as a way to build a stronger parent-child relationship, especially in these fast-paced modern times. Reading gives children a head start when they go to school. That is, bedtime stories can create a “magic” in the kids’ developing minds.

The magic works like this: When you read the classic “Si Pagong at si Matsing” story to your toddler, you are stimulating his brain to make him part of the story. When reading, you are exaggerating sounds, words, or emotions. Before you even flip the page, you are developing his memory to remember the things you said. When kids listen, they pay attention to the plot, the characters, the story, the actions, and a lot more.

Some people say that kids nowadays have short attention spans. With the advent of technology like television and computers, kids have found instant “comfort.” Instead of reading books, they are on the couch thumbing through the games on their gadgets. This should not be so.

Both parents and children may not realize how important bedtime stories are if they have not tried it yet. Setting aside some time with the children is important – reading bedtime stories is a beneficial activity. This is why the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.-Dolores Aboitiz Children’ Fund, which espouses Early Child Care and Development, encourages parents to not only spend time with their children but also to develop his inner creativity and curiosity through reading.

Reading bedtime stories is good for the children, for many reasons:

Bedtime stories develop imagination.  When children either reads or hears a bedtime story, their imagination is engaged. The experience is very personal; no two children can have exactly the same experience of the story. As almost everything children need to know is now served up via Internet, television, smartphones, and other electronic gadgets, children get these in a passive way. Bedtime stories are a way for children to actively indulge the kids in activities that can promote imaginative and interactive learning.

When parents read stories to their children, the little ones’ fertile minds begin to visualize the scenes and the characters in their minds. The kids picture in their imagination what the characters look like, as they also figure out the relationship between actions and consequences.

Bedtime stories impart moral values. Books have lessons, especially those classified as appropriate for children. They contain moral lessons that can foster empathy, trust, and faith, to name a few. These values show them ways on how one should be treated or on how we should act according to our values.  It is important that after reading the story, parents should explain to them each character’s personality and how it affects the overall moral lesson of the story.

Bedtime stories encourage love for reading. Reading stories prepare kids to learn how to read. When kids are exposed to many sounds, words, and stories, they would eventually develop a sense of familiarity and comprehension. You can notice that after a few sessions, you will hear your child pronounce words, imitate sounds you made, or flip the pages of the next book. Bedtime stories also expand your vocabularies, especially when you start at an early age.

However, don’t making reading an obligation. As much as possible, let them feel that reading is a pleasure that every child deserves. When you successfully do this, you don’t need to call their names during bedtime. They just easily climb the bed and go over the pages themselves.

Bedtime stories strengthen parent-child bond. As parents you spend at least eight hours a day in the office. When you are at home, you are busy with household chores. As much as you want, they cannot spend more time with your kids at home.

But before you hit the sack, why not spend at least 30 minutes with your toddler? Reading a bedtime story with him strengthens the special bond you have. As you share the story, you are engaging him to express himself, especially on his thoughts about the story.

This is just a simple conversation you can create, but it enables you to have a closer look at how your child talks, behaves, and listens while you read him the story.

(Reference: http://lego.featured.yahoo.com)


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