This Easter, you’re probably looking forward to hunting for eggs, spending time with family, watching the kids run around for chocolate, and - well, dealing with the sugar high that follows. Tired at the end of the day, you’ll likely find yourself trying to put your kids to sleep using toys, bedtimes stories, or whatever else might work, including bribes from the Easter Bunny.

Whichever method works best for your family, there is a little known but very important impact bedtime stories have on a child’s development.  And so, every time you read to your child, I want you to think of this.

Once upon a time, there was a prominent study that looked at why children enter school with different levels of skill in language and learning - even before any formal education.

Well it turns out, not only are language skills foundational to children being ready to learn (aka ‘school readiness’), but it also affects language growth, cognitive development, literacy, and academic achievement down the road.

So, what is the crucial part of parenting that is critical to a child’s early language and learning?

One of the most important aspects of parenting that influences a young child’s language and learning skills is early and consistent learning activities, including:

  • Shared book reading
  • Storytelling
  • Teaching the letters of the alphabet

There you have it. The next time you read that bedtime story with your child, know that you are doing more than just trying to settle her down to sleep after a whole day of eating chocolate. Think about how you are actually setting the stage for her growth, her achievement, and ultimately her success and opportunities in life. And knowing that you are doing a fabulous job, go ahead and indulge in your own fair share of chocolate this weekend. You deserve it!

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