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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Bedtime Stories for Older Kids

Bedtime Stories For Older Kids

Instilling the love of reading in an older child is an important part of any parent's job but it is often the hardest one to do. With school, homework, family activities and playtime, it is often hard to fit reading time into everyday life. The natural solution to this dilemma is bedtime stories. Since you probably read or told a bedtime story to your child every night before bed when they were younger, it is only natural to replace this activity with solo reading time for your older child.

To make the transition from parent/child bedtime stories to solo reading, you will need to keep a few things in mind.
• Make the transition slowly. Your child will be more likely to accept the change if you remove yourself from the routine slowly. Start by picking a book that your child can read alone and have them read it out loud to you for ten to fifteen minutes each night. If they want to continue reading after that time, explain that they can stay up and read to themselves for ten more minutes before lights out.

• Set a time limit for reading. For many kids that love to read, putting the book down at night can become a problem. While it is OK to extend their allowed reading time by a few minutes to let them finish an exciting part or paragraph, it is important to limit how long they can stay up to read. Without limits, kids may get so wrapped up in a story that they read for hours without noticing the time.

• Choose books that your child will love to read. If the subject matter of the book is boring or overtly educational, it will not hold your child's interest and they may start to view bedtime reading as a chore instead of as a fun activity to be anticipated and cherished. If possible, allow your child to choose his or her own reading material. Keep in mind that the material doe not necessarily have to be a book. Kids enjoying reading magazines and comic books just as much, if not more that traditional books, as they get older. Do not be discouraged by this. The idea behind solo bedtime reading is not so much the subject matter bit in establishing the activity of reading.

• Choose books with a relaxing subject matter. Although this may be a hard step to impose, it is probably better if your child saves their adventurous reading for other times throughout the day. If a story line is too exciting, it may interfere with your child's sleep. Scary stories, or those with a lot of action, may energize your child and cause them to sleep restlessly.

• Allow your child to see you reading before bed. If your child sees that you make a habit of reading a few pages or chapters from your favorite book before bed, they will see this ritual as something enjoyable. They may also see it as a "grown-up" activity and become drawn to it in order to feel more grown-up. Either way, it will make reading seem like a fun and special activity.

• Don’t push it. If your child is tired or doesn't feel like reading, don't make a big deal out of it. Allow them to skip a night or two. If you make it seem as though they have to read, they may begin to resent it. If, after a few days, they don't seem to be interested in reading again, you may want ask them if you can read with them or to them. By changing their routine or becoming a part of it for a few days you, you may restore their interest in reading again. If not, let it go, but continue to read so that your child sees you getting enjoyment out of it. Over time, this should work to bring them back to the habit.

Once your child has adopted the habit of solo reading, do all that you can to keep them interested. Reading can play an important role in your child's future. Not only will they

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