The Importance of Bedtime Stories

When I was a child, my bedtime routine always ended with a story. After dinner, my sisters and I would have about an hour to finish up anything we needed to finish and then the routine would commence. It started with the normal things: showers, hair brushing, teeth brushing, flossing, and so on. Once we were sufficiently clean, my mom would allow one of us to pick out a book from the big bookshelf in the play room, and we would sit at the kitchen table as she read to us. We knew after the story was over, that it was time to go to bed. I have many memories around that kitchen table at bedtime.

Story Time Creates Conversations

Every once in a while my college roommate and I would get into deep, random conversations at night. We called them “pigeon talks” because of a long conversation on how the discovery of homing pigeons happened. There’s something about nighttime that opens people up to conversation. Maybe it’s the sleepiness that makes you let your guard down, or maybe it’s that as you settle down, your mind starts wandering. Either way, nighttime seems to be the chance to ask big questions. I remember asking my parents questions during story time, often about the images and the story they were reading. Sometimes my mom would ask us questions about the feelings or ideas that were presented. These questions allowed her to get a look at how we were comprehending the story and what it was trying to say.

With Christian storybooks, bedtime stories can be a chance for you to discover your child’s, grandchild’s, niece’s, or nephew’s understanding of Jesus. You can ask questions that check for mental and emotional understanding. You might also get some questions that make you pause and dig into your own faith to answer.

Story Time Creates Memories

My family is tight knit. The memories I have of story time are something I treasure. I still remember my favorite books. When it was my turn to pick the story, there were a few “classic Adele” options to choose from. From my favorite issues of a popular series to re-tellings of classic fairytales, I can still remember which ones I would run to. I liked the longer stories because it meant I got to stay up just a bit later. These memories around the kitchen table are memories I want to provide for my future children. I want them to remember hearing their parents read them stories. I want them to know the joy of listening to something being read aloud.

Story Time Creates Comfort

My sister-in-law is being very careful in what media she lets her kids consume. She’s finding that her children are currently very aware of the scary things that books or movies might show. She doesn’t want to shelter her children but to make sure they know the truth about the world, their Savior, and their lives. My own mother was the same way. There was a lot that I wasn’t allowed to see or read until I was more able to distinguish between fantasy and reality. But during story time, if there was something that made me fearful, my mother could tell me why I didn’t have to worry about it or why I shouldn’t be scared. I was a bit of a nervous kid, and so my mother would address my worries about whatever story she was reading. Sometimes, she would even answer my worries from the day with story books that spoke to my fears.

Christ brings comfort, peace, and hope into a world that we all know has some very scary things in it. Ending story time by reading a developmentally-appropriate and Christ-focused story allows you to speak truth, life, and hope into a child’s life. It allows you to answer big questions children may have and provides an easy transition into teaching prayer. Bedtime stories and story time are greatly important for children. Reading aloud to babies, toddlers, and other young ones is incredibly beneficial in general, and adding Christ into that routine has eternal significance.

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Written by

Adele Werner

Adele Werner is a pastor’s wife, a mother, a third-generation Yooper, and a former content marketing specialist for Concordia Publishing House. Devoted to Jesus, she has a passion for serving others and sharing the Gospel. She is an alumna of the University of Michigan, where she majored in media and communication studies, minored in writing, and served in multiple ministries. As an avid consumer and creator of all content, she can often be found watching movies categorized as “Oscar bait,” listening to podcasts, or reading a good book.

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