Why read stories to babies?
Reading or telling stories to children is a very common custom in many
Sometimes, it becomes kind of a ritual, between mothers or fathers and
children: in some houses, come night time without a story being read, one
cannot even imagine going to sleep.
Children love to listen to stories because it emotionally involves them,
stimulates their imaginations, and at the same time helps them to
understand and categorize the reality that surrounds them.
Moreover, story telling is a incredibly valuable educational tool: the
child, who identifies himself with the characters, compares himself to
them, and is led to wonder what is right or wrong in dealing with concrete
problems and learn from the consequences of certain actions.
Not everyone knows, however, that it is not only advantageous to tell
stories to children, but also to newborns…
It’s never too early to start …
From 6 months on, the newborn is able to hear a story, although without
fully understanding, of course, the meaning of the words that are
The child, nevertheless, from an early age, perceives the difference
between a dialogue and a narration and is very likely to be entertained by
Early reading is recommended not only because the child appreciates it, but
also because it helps him to develop his emotional and interpersonal
research conducted by Suzanne M. Egan and Aisling Murray
of the Institute of Irish Economic and Social Research, has shown that
reading to newborns helps improve cognitive development even in the
first few months of life. According to the study, 9-month-old babies who
have fairy tales or stories read to them at such an early age eventually
get higher scores on cognitive development tests.
In summary, if we think that reading is a healthy habit that children
should have, let’s keep in mind that the sooner we start to make them
passionate about reading, the better!
If a parent’s story-telling is perceived as an act of love
Another reason why reading at a very impressionable age is encouraged is
that the adult-child relationship is strengthened by this act.
The child perceives the parent’s story telling as a gesture of love. The
time spent reading, if repeated constantly, perhaps at the same hour and in
the same place, becomes an important ritual – a special moment during the
Reading aloud to children: an activity that reinforces trust
According to the words of
Dr. Rossella Benedicente, Psychologist-Psychotherapist-Sexologist
, by reading, “adult and child come into mutual harmony in an intense and
pleasant communication made of emotion, complicity and trust that
strengthens their emotional bond. From the emotional point of view it
allows you to explore your most intimate emotions in the company of adults
who can comprehend them, reassure you, and provide explanations. ”
However, even if the child is too small to understand the story, it is not
too small to appreciate the attention it receives.
Therefore, although it may seem a little impractical to read a story to
someone who does not understand what is being said, remember that it is
much more important for our children than we can imagine… and, why not?,
it is important for us to disconnect from routine and immerse
ourselves, at least for a while, in make-believe worlds, where there is no
place for our problems…
And you readers, do you have any experience in this field? Do you usually
tell stories to your children? How do you carry out your “reading time”?
If you want, write it in the comments.