Bedtime Reading with Your Little Ones
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Why is it important to read to your child at night? When a parent works a full time job, has a child(ren) to tend to, and a home to take care of - it can be exhausting to take time out of one's day to take a moment to read to their child. Sometimes we can get caught up with all of the overbearing responsibilities of life… and we can feel so overwhelmed that we are doing it alone. This can be especially true after a divorce… and we may forget how important the little moments in life are. Taking some time at night to read your child a chapter a night, from a good novel (that is not required by your child’s school reading list or part of their homework assignment) might be more valuable than one might realize.
Obviously helping your child out with their homework is necessary and maybe the tutor or teacher at school is available to help them with their homework, but taking a few moments to have some quality time reading with your child at night before bed is a great form of bonding. It helps your child develop their imagination and creativity. Reading to your child and allowing them to ask questions about the story line helps them expand their knowledge of the world, especially when they are able to have one-on-one time with you to be curious and ask questions. This bonding time allows them to retain information better and it helps them practice maintaining their focus, which only further reinforces their attention span for when they are in the classroom. It can also help reduce the amount of screen time your child engages in at night as well. The practice of reading to your child is further beneficial for the development of their self esteem and overall confidence. Your child will feel more secure when they enter a classroom and have to listen to their teacher read from a textbook because it is now familiar at home.
… Taking the Moment in …
Try choosing books that are fairy tale, science fiction or fiction based. These types of genres help your child’s imagination grow and develop. Children need a safe place to escape and allow their minds to relax from their own daily stressors with family, friends and school work. Parents…you need this too! Allow this time to be designated as your bedtime-bonding time and also as a space where you and your child can both enjoy an interesting story before bed. Yes, it can be difficult to set aside time, but just as you set aside time for brushing your teeth and keeping up hygiene, it is important to set aside some time for reading and bonding with your child. Find a good novel that they enjoy and read a few pages or even a chapter each night. Try to make this part of the bedtime routine with your child!