Bedtime Stories Benefit
A little girl said the following as to what she thought was the difference between love and true love – “Love is when Daddy reads me a bedtime story. True love is when he doesn’t skip any of the pages!”
In the early years of a child’s life, the size of their brain will double in size, but not necessarily in quality. During this foundational intellectual period, neurons multiply and connect with one another until inside it looks like a great mass of tangled wires. However, the amounts will vary. Brain scans show that young children who do well in school generally have a lot more of these neuron wired connections than those who do not do as well. All this led Dr. G. Reid Lyon, Chief of Children Studies at the National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development, to find out why the difference. And his discovery? Bedtime stories. The distinguished scholar found that many children who do well in class by day were (and are) read to by their parents at night. Such kind of reading causes the child to have to actively concentrate to comprehend what’s being heard and the result of this intense thinking is a neuron explosion. Unfortunately, the opposite also proved to be true. Many children who do not do well in class by day weren’t (and aren’t) read to by their parents at night. Instead, they are passively amused by watching hours of television (and since amuse means “to not have to think”) there’s much less neuron growth taking place inside of the child’s head. (continued on the back)
However, the good professor also cautions there are exceptions to the rule – some children are naturally academic whereas other, well, we won’t go there. Nevertheless, he strongly advocates that in this day and age when modern parents are increasingly turning to the latest technology for their children’s educational development; that they not just dump old-fashioned bedtime reading into the recycle bin. It was the poet, Strickland Gillilan, who wrote over a century ago,
“You may have tangible wealth untold;
caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
But richer than I you can never be –
for I had a parent who read to me.”
The bottom line. The report also stated that among parents who do read to their children at night, mothers are far better at it than are fathers; thus confirming the little girl’s comment at the beginning – “Love is when Daddy reads me a bedtime story. True love is when he doesn’t skip any of the pages!”
✓Note – If you want the “bible” on bedtime reading, it is The Read-Aloud Handbook by educator Jim Trelease. It’s a great book to give to young parents. As Paul said in I Timothy 4:13, When thou comest, bring with thee the books.