Reading a bedtime story is perhaps one of the best things parents can do with their kids every day. It helps boost a child’s literacy skills and brain development, and it is also fun both for the child and the parent. It is also a great way to start preparing kids to go to bed, especially when they are still feeling energetic.
You will never run out of entertaining books to read with your little one (you can find yourself looking for more shelf space though). But if you want something a little bit different, you might want to try coming up a bedtime story that is based on real life and stars a very special person: your child!
Bedtime story hack!
An article on Offspring shares a cute bedtime story hack parents might want to start doing at home. Instead of simply reading storybooks, why not put together a story based on your child’s day?
The article references an Instagram post made by the homeschooling community Other Goose, which encourages moms to substitute narrations of the day that has just passed for the typical storybook. If you don’t quite know how this would work, here is a pattern you can use as a guide:
Once upon a time, John woke up and went to the kitchen to have breakfast with his mom and dad. He gave them a kiss, and then they all sat down to eat. John ate rice and hotdogs that his mom had cooked for them. After eating breakfast, Mom and John said goodbye to Dad before he went to work. And then, John helped Mom clean the table and wash the dishes.
Quite simply, this bedtime story technique involves rehashing everything that happened to your child throughout the day. But add emphasis on the different ways — both big and small — he learned new things and developed good characteristics. For instance, if your child helped out a friend at the park or chose to stay patient and understanding even if their sibling did something to upset him, it’s a good idea to include that in your bedtime story.
How to create a bedtime story about your child
If you are considering trying out this unique bedtime story technique, there are a couple of things you might want to do first. The crucial one is to give him your undivided attention.
Aside from just knowing when he woke up, what he did, where he went, when he went to bed, and similar details, be on the lookout for moments that might not be as easy to notice, such as how he treats the people around him or how he deals with problems he encounters. Later, these are some details you can include in the story to make it more interesting. You can also use these bits to introduce certain lessons and morals for your child to pick up because what bedtime story is complete without a heartwarming or encouraging message to take away?
A second reminder to keep in mind is that you don’t need to make your story too long or complicated. Chances are that when the time for bedtime stories rolls by, you’re already exhausted from a long day of finishing all sorts of mom duties. It’s okay to keep your story simple; what’s more important is that you get to spend some quality time with your little one. As Babble puts it, “Let go of your expectations and recognize that our kids want a simple, easy story from us to them.”
Why bedtime stories about your child are a good idea
If your child seems to be getting disinterested in the storybooks you read to him every night, it might be the perfect time to try a fresh new trick, such as telling him a bedtime story about himself. Here are five reasons why this technique is something that might be worth doing with your child.
The bedtime story hooks him in immediately
According to Babble, it can be much easier for a child to become interested in a story that involves himself. You can also try making use of a main character that has a different name than your child but has the same characteristics and traits as him. As he continues to listen, he might find himself enjoying imagining himself (or a character similar to himself) in the story!
The story gives him a sense of satisfaction
Just as adults enjoy writing in journals to reflect on what happened to them, kids can also benefit from taking some time to review what they experienced throughout the day. Doing this can help your child become more ready to rest after processing just how packed the past day was for him.
You get to laugh together
You will inevitably experience some mishaps throughout your day together: Maybe your child accidentally spills some water on the floor, or maybe you accidentally slip and fall. It is also possible that you hear a funny joke or watch a funny show on TV together. Rehashing everything that happened throughout your day allows both you and your child to remember all those silly little events and have a couple more laughs with one another. It deepens your bond and some giggles before bedtime can help make ushering him off to dreamland feeling happy!
Storytelling shows him that you are invested in his life
When you sit down and recall everything that happened to your child throughout the past day, it allows him to see just how invested you are in him and everything he does. Simply narrating his activities throughout the day, even without him supplying other small details, can help him learn that you pay attention and that you are aware of what’s going on with him. It’s a great way to forge a deeper bond between the two of you as well!
A bedtime story that stars your child is an opportunity for learning
Looking back on the events of the past day also provides a chance for your child to reflect on what he did well and what he can improve on in the future. For example, maybe he lost his temper at a playmate who unintentionally upset him. Your nightly recap of the past day’s events can be a way for you to encourage him to figure out what he can do the next time a similar instance happens and how he can handle it better.
As a parent, this bedtime story technique can be a chance for you to reflect as well. Like kids, moms and dads make mistakes every day, and like kids, moms and dads also deserve the chance to look back on their missteps and come up with a plan so that they don’t do those again.
Now isn’t that a great way to end the day beautifully and wake up to a morning where everyone feels good?