How To Make A Killer Bedtime Story

Let your young child help you prepare your bedtime story. You don’t have to be a storyteller yourself; many of my daughters have stories they write for me. Just be sure to follow a few simple guidelines to help you bring your best, most creative work to life.

A bedtime story is the perfect way to help your child sleep: It teaches them discipline, self-control, positive reinforcement, and a safe, quiet, happy environment. And you’ll probably end up with a story that will inspire your readers too; stories are the perfect catalyst for a sleepover!

Incorporate a story into your bedtime routine with these tips: Tell a story every night, even if you don’t want to. It can be funny, scary or beautiful. It can be a scary story about the dangers of sleeping too much or the fun of watching a movie when your child is falling asleep. It can be a sad or touching story about your parents. Make sure it is fun, and the bedtime story needs to be meaningful. Once you’ve made it fun for your child, be sure to listen to your child’s story. When they close their eyes that’s when you’re supposed to begin, so you can get into the story a little bit at a time.

Have your child write two different stories. One to listen to, and another to read out loud to you. You want to show your child that they can tell themselves stories with their own voice and not just hear your voice. When they start writing these two stories together, make sure those stories are different. Don’t just try to use the same format or theme, you can vary things a lot. For example, you can change the color of the curtains, change which room is sleeping in, make it a fun story that they’ll enjoy. Give your child time to read out loud on his or her own as well, so it doesn’t feel like they are doing a bedtime test. When you take it from being a story to being a true, moving piece that you are sharing with your child, you create a connection that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. This connection can last as long as your child shares it with you and as long as they can remember it, even after you’ve gone to bed.

Let your child choose your favorite story. You don’t have to choose the exact same story every night. Try to let them choose their favorite story and talk about other ways your story can be a story. One of my daughters chooses stories based on what’s going on in her life at the time. She loves to listen to stories about the past and what happened back then. She sometimes reads stories using the past tense sometimes. But she always has a story waiting to be told, waiting to take another turn.

Have the story be something they don’t have to think about or worry about (yet). The story needs to feel just right and not make your child feel too good or awful. It can be a quiet story that they like; if you have a child with a speech disorder, a funny story; and if you have a child with ADHD…you never know what your kids may like. But whatever it is – if it is a story, you’ve made it great.

Have your baby be the storyteller. Be honest with your child when you tell a story, because you want to show them that you want to listen to them and you want to understand them and want to have a relationship.

Make your little storyteller cry a lot. Sometimes having your child cry can make one of them feel more secure, and they will be more comfortable sharing their story. Sometimes crying can be uncomfortable, and that’s okay. Sometimes crying can be scary for your child. That’s okay. Sometimes crying can be difficult, and that’s okay. But sometimes – this is when having a bedtime story can be best for everyone. I know it’s scary at first, and it may not be how you’ve always wanted things to be, but your child will remember what you are saying to them more and more, and they’ll be more willing to tell their story to you again.

Give your children a couple hours before bedtime to make sure it is ready before they go. But if they have any other requests (like bedtime toys or stories they’d rather share with you) be ready to go the moment they say they want to.