There is, hands down, no family ritual more powerful than the bedtime story – especially in this modern age of non-stop screen time. 

And it’s not just something we do for our kids. Bedtime stories can benefit parents as well.

Particularly if you approach the experience as more than just reading TO your kids, but as a special bonding time to read WITH your kids. This is where the magic happens.

In fact there are so many benefits to establishing a bedtime story ritual, we decided to make a list.


One of the most impactful things you can ever do as a parent is to read with your child nightly.


And by the time you get to the bottom of this article, we think you’ll agree.


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child asleep in bed with a book


7 Reasons To Make Bedtime Stories A Family Ritual


1. Symbolic Closure

We live in an “always on” world. Having a predictable nighttime family ritual, such as a bedtime story, helps children and adults wind down and transition into a more relaxed state.

Story time becomes a comforting space, where you can release the anxieties of the day. 

The experience of reading a picture book aloud is both visual and auditory. Which allows you to engage with your kids on multiple sensory levels, and helps them release tensions and relax.

Story time becomes a welcome end-of-day transition from one world to another. A closing ritual that helps you and your child prepare for sleep.


2. Better Sleep

Some parents think they need an elaborate bedtime routine to coax children into winding down and getting the kind of quality sleep they need. Not true.

Studies have shown that, while things like essential oil massage and baths are nice and calming, they aren’t necessary on a nightly basis. There was just one critical component to a bedtime routine that ensured successful sleep… you guessed it, reading. 

 Reading gives kids a chance for physical closeness and bonding with their caregivers. This creates a space where a child feels safe enough to let their guard down and relax.

Bedtime reading also provides a point of mental focus away from noise and distraction that allows the body’s natural fatigue to take over. This brings kids (and parents) closer to sleep.

Over time, because the bedtime story family ritual occurs when a child is tired and relaxed, their mind will associate the act of reading with those feelings.

Pulling out a book becomes a trigger, an extremely powerful sleep cue for your child.


3. Family Bonding

Spending time cuddled up reading to your child solidifies the connection between you. 

A nightly bedtime story can become one of your child’s most precious memories in adulthood, and a special bonding experience you share.

mom reading to daughter in bed


4. Build Creativity and Imagination 

Reading bedtime stories with your child helps develop their imagination and creativity. In fact, Research has shown that reading engages the brain in a completely different way than watching television. 

Kids get to imagine what a character looks like, or what they might say or do next. 

Reading stimulates new ideas. It requires more active participation then just passively watching a movie unfold on a screen. 

You can encourage your little one’s developing imagination even more by asking questions to them as you read together. 

Ask your child things like “What do you think will happen next?” or “How would you handle that situation?”

This activates their creative problem solving skills and helps develop abstract thinking.


5. Improve Literacy

The best way to improve your child’s reading comprehension and vocabulary is to read aloud with them.

When kids watch screens, they are not engaging in an active verbal exchange. Dialogue happens so fast on television kids don’t have time to process or analyze it.

But when reading stories becomes part of your family ritual, kids are able to slow down and take in the language they hear and see on the page.

They are introduced to new words and hear them in context, which improves retention. 

Reading books is a proven way to boost a child’s overall language skills.


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6. Empathy And Comfort

We want our kids to be kind; to be able to accept and understand people who are different from them.

Stories allow children to walk a mile in another person’s shoes. To think about how someone with a different life experience, culture, or background might be feeling.

 These are the cornerstones of empathy and compassion. 


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Stories also allow kids to find comfort by relating to characters going through similar situations as they are. 

So for example, kids can read about a child who stands up to a bully, or a bunny who is sad because his best friend moved away.

Kids find solace by connecting to events in stories. They learn they are not alone in feeling the way they do.


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Build A Reading Habit

Reading is an important life skill that will serve your children well into adulthood.

By making bedtime stories a consistent family ritual, you’re encouraging a lifelong love of books. 

Building a reading habit will help your child perform better in school, work, and life.


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SHARE why bedtime stories are the most powerful family ritual parents can start today!