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The Importance of Bedtime Stories

publication date: Jan 26, 2019

adult reading to a childIt’s no secret that bedtime can present itself as the most challenging part of the day for many parents. A new survey* by tonies®, an intuitive audio system for children, finds that 70 per cent of primary school aged children find it hard to fall asleep at night, with the average child waking up in the night five times a month.   

Commissioned to celebrate National Storytelling Week, a new study reveals the power that storytelling still has within the dreaded bedtime routine, with the findings backed by Dr Kairen Cullen, a Chartered Educational Psychologist. During the age of smartphones and increased screen time, storytelling is still the preferred method for parents to help their kids wind down at bedtime, with almost half of those surveyed citing it as their go-to ritual and 71 per cent agreeing it was helpful at this tricky time.  

Dr Kairen Cullen comments: “The predictability of a bedtime routine provides children with a lot of comfort at the end of a busy, sometimes overwhelming day, and including storytelling as part of this engages both child and adult in an immersive, relaxing experience. Even if the adult is not actually reading the story, but is listening with a child to a pre-recorded tale, the shared enjoyment, escapism and entertainment provides a foundation for physical and emotional closeness – a solid basis for starting a good night’s sleep. Stories also teach children moral lessons on how to be a ‘good person’, and social lessons about things like friendship, truthfulness and determination.”  

Although there is evidence that screen time just before bed gets in the way of full relaxation, Dr Cullen notes that audio books are helping change the way children experience storytelling in a positive way:  “The range and quantity of story material that new technology facilitates allows children to exercise more choice and autonomy when going through the process of search and selection – a process which parents should be actively involved in to encourage discussion with their child(ren).

"However, it is also important for parents to set time limits during the storytelling sessions, to reinforce the sense of routine and thereby promote the conservation of precious emotional and mental energy.”  

Toniebox Designed to inject some modern magic into the traditional activity of storytelling, the tonies® audio system was invented by Patric Faßbender and Marcus Stahl, who spotted a gap in the market for a child-friendly listening tool.

Following its success in Germany, the brand launched in the UK and Ireland in Autumn 2018.

You can find out more about Tonieboxes here.