Reading with children

a blog by Magic Tales

child reading

The Bedtime Struggle: Overcoming Challenges with Child-friendly Books and Reading Rituals

Growing up, one of the things I looked forward to was bedtime. It was a time I associated with a warm, cosy bed, a good book, and the soft whispering of my mom’s voice as she read to me. Now fast forward several years later, and I’m the mom struggling to get my child to see bedtime as less of a punishment and more of an enjoyable, relaxing ending to their day.

The Bedtime Struggle
I believe most of you will agree with me when I say that bedtime can be one of the greatest challenges we face as parents. We often have to contend with our children's relentless energy, their pleas for “just one more minute,” and their puzzling hatred for sleep - a luxury we, as adults, crave.

Reading at Bedtime: A Particular Challenge in Disguise
My child loves stories. The problem? When bedtimes rolls in, even the most exciting book is met with stubborn resistance. It’s incredibly frustrating because, as a book lover myself, I know just how magical and educational the world of books can be.

Turning The Page: Solutions Through Children’s Books
Frustrated but ever so determined, I decided to approach bedtime differently - I turned to children’s books for guidance.

Engage Their InterestsI found that incorporating my child’s interests into our bedtime reading routine made an enormous difference. If your child loves animals, select books that feature animals as the main characters. If they’re passionate about the moon and stars, look for space-themed books. This strategy doesn’t just work for bedtime; it’s a great way to foster their love for reading in general.

The Correct SelectionChoosing age-appropriate books is another significant factor. Try not to challenge them too much with a complex story that they may struggle to understand. If your child is around three to five years old, shorter stories with beautiful illustrations will captivate their attention.

Routine is KeyCreating a routine is crucial. It’s important that we create positive associations with bedtime. Start by setting a specific time for bed. Gradually introducing the bedtime reading habit will help your child see reading as a calm and enjoyable activity, rather than a prelude to something they dislike.

Bridging the Gap
Yes, bedtime can seem like a battle, but with patience and the right books, you can turn it into a cherished ritual. Remember, the goal is to foster a lifelong love for reading in our little ones. Making this fun and engaging will make this otherwise difficult routine, a memorable time for both you and your child.

It’s not always going to be perfect, there will still be nights of resistance (and that’s okay!) but keep going. Getting your child to look forward to bedtime is worth every page turned. Good luck and happy reading!

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