Humans have existed and lived for thousands of years prior to any formal writing systems. We were born to be storytelling animals. Storytelling was a crucial part of how information, shared beliefs, and values were passed down. It still is.
Think: eat this delicious berry. Not this poisonous berry! (that just so happens to look like the same delicious berry)
Pet this friendly animal. Not this venomous look-alike animal. And so on and so on.
Put a story behind it! Now imagine how much easier the poison berry warning would be to retain, particularly by a child, if there were an unforgettable and emotionally riveting story behind why not to eat the bad (poisonous) berry.
Once upon a time, a too-curious young boy did not listen to his elders’ warning to avoid this bad berry and decided to try the bad berry.
Upon eating this very bad berry he was instantaneously transformed into a very ugly and very terrible monster that was slain instantly by the tribe and certainly before the monster could figure out how to transform himself back into a boy.
Too bad! He ate the wrong berry! Think of how stories like these may have actually kept children alive! Stories were practical and powerful. They still are.
After all, who wants to be taken out by their own caregivers?
A good story gets hardwired into our genes. It’s actually super important children hear their parents tell stories since that’s how children learn and gain so much of that formative pro-tip knowledge. Important knowledge (and values) are transferred via metaphor in the story.
Stories develop imagination. Any good imaginative children’s book will have important life lessons within the story.
Here are some other reasons why reading to your kids is important.
It develops their little brains for language processing! Reading can help your child develop his or her intelligence.
And now, the science part: This article by Jeff Grabmeier actually quantifies how many words your child would potentially be exposed to by reading so many books per week to them by a certain age. For younger children, learning the letters and practicing sight words are great additional benefits of nighttime reading.
When you further consider that reading together can potentially result in greater academic success which can then translate into career success, reading at night is a wonderful investment. For parents who homeschool, reading and reading aloud helps kids to become excellent readers and storytellers themselves.
Need more inspiration? Just think both the renowned Dr. Ben Carson and genius Elon Musk both developed an early love of reading. Developing a reading ritual such as reading a book before bedtime is such a great opportunity to instill a love of reading in your child. Not to mention, reading with your child at night can be very calming and a destressing nighttime ritual for you and your child.
The time spent between parent(s) and child is precious.
By sharing time and sharing connections before bedtime. A busy parent (or parents) has the opportunity to show their children that they are important by connecting with them through this calming ritual by reading to them before bedtime. After all, this time is precious and children will be well on their way to reading their own books in no time but the positive effects of reading to your child in a nighttime ritual go beyond that.
If you enjoyed anything about this post I would love to know!
Let’s stay in touch so that you can be first to know when I share more great tips as to why reading to your children is such an amazing nighttime ritual with such amazing and far reaching benefits!
Please join my waitlist for my children’s books for donor conceived children and their parents! Each published title in the sister series represents a different family model! Getting on the list ensures I can let you know when your family is represented in The ABC’s of How You Had Me series!
So nice to meet you! I’m Vanessa!
A little about me: I was inspired to write this book as a result of my own journey to have a family. I feel so impassioned about this need that I wrote a companion series of children’s books for each of the unique family models so that families can begin to feel comfortable having the conversation around the birth narrative. I used space exploration and science as a sub-theme to these stories.