Home Business Insights & Advice How to strengthen the bond with your children through storytelling

How to strengthen the bond with your children through storytelling

by Sarah Dunsby
14th May 24 10:22 am

As a simple and easily accessible tool for parents, storytelling provides so many benefits: it boosts vocabulary, spelling, quality time, positive interaction, improves communication, and strengthens the bond between parent and child. Storytelling is such a powerful tool for building relationships, and it’s easy to see why, as storytelling has been a part of our fabric as people for millennia. What are some of the key ways to use storytelling as a foundational tool to build stronger relationships with our children?

Create a consistent routine

For children still at the very beginning of their learning journey, structure is pivotal. Creating a routine is going to provide a sense of security and comfort through consistency, and at bedtime, this can promote healthy sleep habits. For example, having a story as part of a bedtime routine.

To do this, make it an essential part of the nightly routine, as this consistency ensures that it is less likely to be skipped. Also, aim to establish a predictable sequence of events in your bedtime routine, for example, brushing teeth, putting on pyjamas, and then reading a story before lights out, making sure that you do it in the same order and at the same time.

Use personalised stories

We can use many different types of stories, depending on our children’s specific emotional reactions to them. However, bedtime stories can be fantastic for enhancing bonding when you use personalised stories, which can involve finding stories that mirror your child’s interests, challenges, or experiences. When children see themselves reflected in a story, it validates their feelings and experiences and makes children feel seen and understood.

Additionally, when you choose stories that address a child’s specific interests or challenges, they are more likely to pay attention and participate in the practice because they will relate to the content, and this can be a natural springboard for open conversations, which can increase the communication between yourself and your child and mutual understanding, which strengthens the parent-child relationship.

It can also be a great way to help children process their emotions and challenges. When a story mirrors their experiences, it can help children work through their feelings while also gaining new perspectives with the help of their parents, which is why choosing the best bedtime stories for kids will always help increase that level of empathy.

Maintain a close proximity to your child

In the modern day, where we are constantly distracted by pinging phones, it’s important to double down during bedtime by maintaining close physical proximity during the storytelling process. Physical closeness during bedtime and storytelling will help foster a sense of security and attachment, which will create positive memories and stronger emotional bonds.

Additionally, when we cosy up together while reading a story, it creates an intimate environment that both parent and child will associate with comfort and relaxation, which means that your child will feel safe and more ready for sleep. Therefore, we need to keep other distractions like our phones away during the storytelling because this minimises disruptions, but it also means that we, as parents, are physically engaged and close to our children so we can gauge their reactions to the story and this means we can adjust our interactions or tell the story differently with regards to tone or pace.

Discuss the story’s themes and characters

Storytelling is not just about us reading to our children, but it’s about making it a collaborative process. We need to remember that this is the perfect opportunity for our children to learn because our brains are wired to process thoughts during sleep. Therefore, bedtime reading is the best time to foster communication, creativity, and teamwork, which will benefit your relationships.

Also, when you discuss the story themes and characters by asking open questions, this helps your child to reflect on what they are learning. This is better than passive learning, where we read to our children purely because we have to.

One of the best tools to boost our children’s intelligence as well as strengthen our relationships with them, incorporating these elements into your storytelling routine can create an excellent ritual that will, over time, improve their language skills and spelling, but also much more. From emotional processing to communication, asking questions, and helping them to understand a wider range of emotions like morality and social issues, storytelling can promote greater empathy and values. Put simply, if you’re not reading to your children, using the best bedtime stories for kids is a tactic that covers a lot of ground.

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