How to Be Good at Bedtime Stories | Salma Safira Sukma from BehaviorPALS Center| Kinderkloud

How to Be Good at Bedtime Stories

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Bedtime stories have been linked to multiple positive outcomes in children’s development, including vocabulary and language acquisition, lowering stress level, and enhancing logical skills. Bedtime stories also serve as a way to get children to sleep as well as a great opportunity for a child-parent quality time. It is important that reading and books are associated with joy and warmth for children to get positive outcomes from a story. 

However, not every parent is a master at telling stories, so here are some tips that you can follow to be good at bedtime stories:

1. Prepare them for bed first

Before you start a bedtime story, prepare your child for bed first, like getting them in their pajamas and having their teeth brushed. This way they will be ready to sleep right away as the story finishes. While getting ready, you can ask your child what story they want to hear or what book they want to read with you. This will help boost their excitement to get into the story later.

2. Choose the right the story

It is important to choose a story or book based on what your children want. However, you can also adjust it based on what is important for their learning and experience. For example, colorful and textured books as well as stories with rhyme and repetition are good for babies and toddlers. You can also find books with a variety of words to improve their vocabulary.

3. Create comfortable and fun environment

Sitting close or laying next to your child is one way to make your child comfortable as many children love to snuggle with their parents. Being close and able to listen to your voice might soothe your child and make them feel safe. You can also put on their favorite blanket and have their favorite stuffed animals nearby. 

4. Show some actions

The use of body language, gestures, funny voices, eye contact, and facial expressions add physicality to the story which elevates the whole experience to be more alive and fun. For example, you can show how big or small something is with your hands, whoosh your hand to imitate something going fast, tap on objects to imitate knocking on a door, or imitate the sound of animals. 

5. Encourage participation

It is important to involve your children in the whole process no matter how young they are. For toddlers, you can start encouraging their participation by allowing them to turn the pages of the book by themselves. When your child is old enough, you can ask them to choose which book or story they want to hear, then ask questions or comments about the story. In storytelling, you can adjust the storyline or characters based on your child’s request and let them fill in the blanks. This is also helpful if you are running out of ideas. For example, if they want the bad guy to be a spider instead of a bear, then you can change that. Using your child’s name in the story will also increase their enthusiasm.

6. Do both; reading books and storytellings

Storytelling gives you the freedom of the story, but it should only serve as a complement to reading, not a replacement. Reading books holds an important role in vocabulary and language acquisition as books usually have a greater variety of words for children to learn. On the other hand, storytelling which does not involve illustrations to represent the story will require children to picture them on their own, so it’s good for their imagination. By bouncing between reading and listening to storytelling, your child will have better language and story comprehension. 

7. Make it a routine

Making a bedtime story as part of your child’s bedtime routine will help to give them a signal that it’s time to end the night and sleep. It will also give consistency and reassurance which is comforting and feels safe for most children. Continuing this routine up until their teenage years will still be beneficial as books will be more likely to expose them to new words and knowledge. Books will also help to open and teach difficult topics, such as grief and trauma.

 

References:

BookTrust. (n.d.). 7 top tips to master bedtime reading. Penguin Books UK. Retrieved January 8, 2023 from https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/childrens-article/tips-to-master-bedtime-reading-from-the-booktrust 

Oklahoma's Glenpool Fire Department Dads. (2005, October 5). The brainy benefits of bedtime stories. Parents. https://www.parents.com/fun/entertainment/books/the-brainy-benefits-of-bedtime-stories/

Schwarz, K. (2018). Why bedtime stories are so important. Kidspot. https://www.kidspot.com.au/features/v3/nd-393/why-bedtime-stories-are-so-important/

Underwood, P. L. (2020, October 8). How to tell a great bedtime story. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/08/parenting/bedtime-stories-for-kids.html 

 

By: Salma Safira Sukma Ikhsani, S.Psi. from BehaviorPALS

how, good, bedtime story, children

Children 4 Years - 6 Years / 4 Tahun - 6 Tahun / Parenting / Pola Asuh / Family / Keluarga / How to Be Good at Bedtime Stories

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