Read your Little ‘un a Bedtime Story!

If you’re a parent or a guardian and you pass up the opportunity to read a bedtime stories to the little one in your life then shame on you! I may not be a parent myself, but I have a little five-year old niece that stays with my wife and I on a frequent basis. In fact, before she started school this past August, I  babysat her for two years, daily,  from 6AM to 2PM while her mother worked. To say that she and I have formed a close bond would be a gross understatement. She’s like a daughter to me. I taught her how to colour, draw, act silly, taught her ABCs, and most importantly, how to do a very convincing English accent (I’m an Englishman living in the United States).

Now I’ll probably get more into the relationship of my wife and I with our little niece at another time, but right now I have a message. We live in a time of fantastic technology. When it comes to handheld and tablet devices, the World around us is changing at an alarming rate. There are actually apps specifically aimed at children too. And they’re great. I actually helped my niece learn her ABCs through such an app. But something about this troubles me…

Always remember how we were brought up as kids. Realize the importance of reading a child a bedtime story. These days they have apps that can sing lullabies to children. There are also apps that play bedtime stories to children. All well and good. But I think it’d be a crying shame if the app revolution were to replace the art of reading a bedtime story to a child. To me there’s nothing more rewarding than reading a tale to my little niece. Be it Chicken Licken, The Enormous Turnip or The Magic Porridge Pot, there’s no other way she’d prefer to go to sleep than hearing her uncle reading her a bedtime story. This blog’s accompanying picture is the cover of a book that I picked up back in England the last time I visited home. This somehow makes it more special to her in her eyes. I’m creating memories for her that she will never forget.

What kind of memories is a child going to make by listening to a storytime app or a lullaby app? My guess would be crappy ones. Parents, guardians, be a part of your children’s lives. They are there to be appreciated, not to simply raise. And reading a bedtime story to a child is one way to show them how much you love them.

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