Whilst researching for evidence for my dissertation, on the subject of the effect of colours used in bedtime stories i came across this article written in the Telegraph (ref http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5706629/Reading-bedtime-stories-to-children-less-effective-than-conversation-html)

The article talks about the effect bedtime stories have on the child’s ability to read, and how the action of reading the story to the child is no where near as effective as sitting and having a conversation with them.They also comment that what they call ‘adult monologueing’ (in other words adults talking at children) had a weak impact on language development, but engaging children in basic conversation could be up to six times more effective than reading to them – this was decided by US health experts!!

I think this is an interesting article, especially the results of the research, in that they found that when they tested 275 families with children up to the age of four and measured their exposure to speech from adults, other children and television, and then tested their language score they found that children exposed to conversations scored six times as high as those being read to.

I think that the results are amazing but what i would  like to challenge them on is the fact that reading bedtime stories surely has more benefits that promoting the use of language in children? It is about bonding with the children, helping them to feel loved and secure, and also the fact that the reading of bedtime stories is known to help children with sleeping as firstly their minds are left with lovely images and stories to dream about and also there is an element of ‘hypnosis’ that occurs within the process of the story reading. it is also important to note the increase in the rates of insomnia in young children nowadays since a lot of parents have decided not to take the time to read stories and instead a lot of children cannot sleep unless there is a DVD playing or use some other form of distraction to enable sleep.

I wonder how many of these so called experts have ever come across a 7 year old child who cannot speak as well as another because they were ‘read ‘ children’s stories? Do children not all develop at their own rates? and i know when i was reading stories to my young children i would ask the questions about the pictures and the stories as well as reading the book, so in that way surely you get the best of both worlds? In a world where in my opinion children and adults are becoming ‘over stimulated’, and the favourite evening past times are becoming games on Playstations, X Boxes etc, or the contstant looking at TV’S it seems to be that our goal is to to try and get human beings experiencing everything at a younger and younger age…….Andy Warhol made a comment (of which i cannot quote at the moment – sorry) but it was about how he became so overstimulated that he felt numb, as if he was watching life on some sort of TV screen, and that is what i feel we need to be careful of – detachment, becoming dispassionate about life……we need to touch, and be loved and touched, and to feel and experience things first hand in order to really get the most from life!!!!

 

in my opinion…….:0)

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