TomTom have recently conducted a study which shows that 65% of parents believe that reading to their child is important for their progression, yet a third of parents never read their child a bedtime story.
I personally find this incredibly sad, as a bedtime story is such a wonderful part of childhood and not only helps to develop the parent-child bond, but also fills a child's head full of calm thoughts before a good night's sleep, and can model not only an excellent writing style and good vocabulary, but help them to process many everyday situations and explore solutions for it.
53% of parents who read a bedtime story said they felt more relaxed and 44% happier after reading a bedtime story. We take it in turns (although Mr. TBaM tends to do bedtime more often) reading the story, and I find that having my son's squidgy little body nestled on my lap and leaning against me has a really calming effect on me. Invariably his right hand will rest on top of mine as I hold the book, and he rests his cheek against mine; it's a wonderful moment and I can't imagine not wanting to share it with him.
Child psychologist Dr. Richard Woolfson has shared his top tips for quality story time, as part of a campaign by TomTom to help parents claim back some of their precious time by being more efficient in their journeys.
- Be determined: Aim to read your child a story for 10 minutes every night, but starts by reading a story one night a week and gradually building up the frequency from there. You'll find it's much easier and more satisfying thar you expect.
- Avoid interruptions: Make sure that you ring-fence the time you set aside for this activity. So don't answer the phone, put down your gadgets, and devote yourself exclusively to your child while you read to them.
- Involve your child: Ask your child to choose the story they want you to read, either from their bookshelf or from your local library. And don't worry if it's one you have read several times before – children enjoy familiarity and repetition.
- Keep everything relaxed: Since one of the main aims of the bedtime story is to calm your child before sleep, it makes sense to avoid reading tales that are too exciting, too thrilling or too scary. Ask guidance from your local library.
- Enjoy yourselves: Story-telling is meant to be fun for you and your child. Snuggle together as you read, let your child look at the pages as you read, and talk about story together once you have finished. Then, it's time for sleep!
I was sent a TomTom GO5000 to review alongside a story book called 'Alfie's Story' specially written to demonstrate to parents the importance of managing journey time more effectivly. Parents who purchase the TomTom GO5000 can redeem their complimentary copy by uploading their purchase receipt wihin 21 days from the date of purchase. More information on the book can be found here.