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How Reading Before Bed Helps Kids Be More Responsible

by | Dec 11, 2019

Responsibility is Practiced Through Routines

Establishing basic routines in your child’s schedule helps them learn what to expect each day and regulate their own behavior. Routines including baths, teeth brushing, and reading before bed are an important part of that idea.

Besides the fact that educational experts encourage parents to read early and often to their child, reading before bed is an easy way to introduce routines to your child.

Literacy leads to expanded awareness

My son and his wife have been reading to their son before bed since he was four months old. The more words he sees and hears, the more words he learns. The more he learns he becomes more aware of the directions his parents give him everyday on how to help around the home.

Reading together establishes trust

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s a time to be with my grown children and their families. I really relax and feel thankful for the love of family. This holiday was especially fun because my two-and-a-half-year-old grandson was talking up a storm! After being away from him for several months, I could see the dramatic developmental changes in his speech and vocabulary.

His attention span improved. We could read his favorite books three or four times in one sitting. As we read the last page of his book, he would say, “Again, Nana!” He was asking questions on the pages of new books and pointing to things he could tell me about.

Reading together gave us the opportunity to strengthen our relationship. By actively responding to his requests to read more and answer his questions he began to trust me more and more to have more conversations, sing songs, and explore the nearby park. 

A wide range of stories creates new ideas

After reading Birth2Work’s guide Stop Calling Them Chores!, my son and his wife introduced some easy cleaning tasks for their son to do as part of their family’s daily routine. He was excited to try the new tasks because of all the stories he had read with characters who helped around the house.

I watched as my grandson showed me how he picks up his toys and where his most precious books and puzzles “live.” He loves helping to feed their dog and pitches in when his dad cleans up the yard just like some of his favorite story characters do.

This past year after the Thanksgiving meal, he showed me the right way to put the forks and spoons into the dishwasher. It’s right at his eye level and he said, “I show you, Nana.” His self-confidence has certainly improved! This is an early, first step to building good habits and independence.

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Stop Calling Them Chores!

A premium guide to introducing the joy of responsibility, cooperation, and life skills for parents with children of any age.

Reading Together Reminds Us to Model Good Behavior

Children are always watching and listening to everything adults say and do, particularly two-year-olds. They are like little sponges. This is a wonderful thing because good behavior grows from good modeling. The most powerful role model in the life of a child is the same-sex parent or family member. This encourages us to show and model the behaviors we want to see in our children!

When we read stories with characters who have values different than our own and their behavior shows it, that can serve as a powerful reminder to behave the way we expect our children to. It also provides a good opportunity to discuss with our children how and why those characters made their decisions and what we would expect to do instead.

Read great books for inspiration

If you’re looking for a few new great books, click on the images below. “Everywhere Babies”, in particular, has been very popular in our home and amongst friends. 

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases you make using these links. There is no additional cost to you.

Great for ages 0-2

Great for ages 0-2

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Tamie Neu

Tamie is the curriculum director for Birth2Work. Bringing nearly 30 years of teaching experience, she saw firsthand that parent leadership is the most vital force in a child’s life. She has three sons and currently resides in West Texas. In her "free time" she loves reading non-fiction and playing with her grandson. Read full bio >>

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