The National Parenting Center

Got questions? We’ve got answers!

The Most Powerful Family Ritual? The Bedtime Story

The Most Powerful Family Ritual? The Bedtime Story
There is simply nothing more powerful than the bedtime story—especially in this age of continuous screen time.

The bedtime story is the perfect ending to the day. So let’s rethink and reclaim this special decompression time for both parent and child.

It is not just something we are doing for our kids—the benefits accrue to us as well. We don’t just read to our kids, we read with our kids. Here are five reasons why the bedtime story is the most powerful family ritual:

End-of-day closure

The bedtime story can symbolically represent a closure point in our continuous, always-on, and endless days. Even our kids, as they enter grade school, are starting to feel the pressures of a 24/7 world. Together we can start to wind down, letting go of the anxieties that can fill a day.

For our kids, bathing, teeth brushing, and pajamas starts the slow-down process. For us parents, it is also important that we fully shift our attention and presence to this special time—treating it as uninterrupted, sacred space (leaving our device outside the room!).

Feeling safe & secure

There is probably no safer or secure feeling than to be snuggled with a parent—listening to their comforting voice. Bonding is magnified as a special story transports us to a world of possibility. Also, stress levels start to lower for both parent and child as a softer energy starts to surround us. To have this loving ritual repeated night after night promotes an unconditional love that protects our little ones from the inevitable feelings of vulnerability that define the human experience.

Healthy sleeping & better dreaming

Sleep specialists reveal how bedtime stories can help both child and parent get a good night sleep. It makes total sense. The loving voice tones of the parent can also create strong associations with sleep—slowing the brain down—and helping the child to let go of the day. As our young ones enter deeper sleep after storytelling, the brain continues to “play with” this new information—imprinting the feelings, images and story patterns that have been heard.

In other words, the powerful subconscious continues to do its magic as the child sleeps, setting the foundation to positively enter the next day.

Engaging the imagination

Bedtime stories are one of the best ways to stimulate a child’s imagination. Research reveals that reading a story is completely different than watching a TV show or movie. Listening to a story requires more active participation as they use their mind to visualize what is happening and to think about what choices they would make if they were the character. These new ideas inspire our kids to imagine new realities and identities for themselves. Their favorite stories start to positively shape their own life story.

Connecting & empathizing

Just as stories help our kids create their sense of self, they also help them to empathize with others. Our young ones can find comfort in relating to a character in a story who is going through a similar challenge—whether it is a best friend moving away or the loss of a pet. Not surprisingly, stories can help our kids find the courage (and scripting) to deal with things that seemed too far out of their experience.

For children in uncertain circumstances (like divorce or loss of a family member), a bedtime story can help them to start shaping a new reality. Still, the most precious forms of connection that bedtime stories facilitate is that between parent and child—one of the most powerful predictors of success and happiness in life for our kids

Sweet dreams to your little one!

 

Mike Morrison Ph.D.’s passion centers on developing leaders at all ages, from pre-schoolers to the corporate CEO leading a global enterprise. In today’s world, we all need to lead in some way and Mike has helped illuminate that path through three books, his most recent being Small Voice Says.
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

HOW IT WORKS

A Seal of Approval review involves a multi-step process conducted over an eight-week period.

Parents and children, experience and review submitted products and services either already released or coming to market.

Participants fill out questionnaires for each product or service they test. They score based on 13 levels of criteria including quality, appeal, design, price, packaging, directions, desirability, stimulation, replay factor and more. Results are based on both statistical averaging and comments received by testers.

There are three testing periods each year:

Report Period

SPRING '22

FALL ‘22

HOLIDAY ‘22

Testing Begins

February 15th

June 1st

September 1st

Submission Deadline

March 11th

June 24th

September 23rd

Testing Ends

April 24th

July 31st

October 30th

Report Issued

May 10th

August 17th

November 16th

Each submission must be accompanied by a $295 product testing fee (we offer multiple submission discounts). This fee covers the cost of testing, nothing more. It is non-refundable and has no bearing on the result of the testing. Additionally, we require three samples of the product or access codes for online submissions.

Edit Company

PayPal Payment

Submission Summary

In case of Agency:

Product/Service
Suggested Retail Price
Suggested Age
Description
Notes
Image
Payment Method*
Hidden
Hidden

Credit Card Payment

Submission Summary

In case of Agency:

Product/Service
Suggested Retail Price
Suggested Age
Description
Notes
Image
Credit Card
American Express
Discover
MasterCard
Visa
Supported Credit Cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Expiration Date
 
Hidden
Hidden

[login_widget]

PLEASE SELECT YOUR REGISTRATION TYPE

OR