Homer SimpsonCredit: USA - CIRCA 2009: A stamp printed in United States shows Homer Jay Simpson, circa 2009

Like most of you, I have a soft spot for Homer Simpson, but I think we can all learn something from his perspective and might benefit from doing the exact opposite.  The purpose of this article is to explain the benefits of telling bedtime stories to your child so he/she will be bonded closer with you, have a better ability to learn and socialize with others, and gain improved moral perspective.  Be the hero, not the zero.

#1 Bonding

Homer: “When I look at the smiles on all the children's faces, I just know they're about to jab me with something.”

Anti-Homer: Instead of the wedge that is likely develop from the limited time available to spend with your child, enjoy quality time at night reading a story together.  Reading to your child at night will build a stronger connection after just a short, consistent while.  They say a habit takes 21 days and that is time well spent.  It is a two-way street and you will enjoy it too.  Not only will you get to share a story and emotions that go along with the story, but your child will appreciate the time spent together.  Your child will be more and more preoccupied sooner than you think so embrace this opportunity together.

#2 Learning Skills

Homer: “To Start Press Any Key'. Where's the ANY key?”

Anti-Homer: Give your child the gift of reading, learning, and gab.  Connecting words on a page with sound will initiate your child’s interest in stories and in gaining the ability to read.  Learning the mechanics of reading is a stepping stone to reading, vocabulary, language, memory, writing skills and then typing skills, and development in general.  It is more challenging to learn other studies when reading gets in the way so give your child this gift, it will reap rewards from this point forward.

#3 Socializing Skills

Homer: “I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I'm around.”

Anti-Homer: Keep your child in the loop so he/she will be better-equipped at communicating effectively; from proper enunciation to expressing emotion and having empathy.  The more quality time you spend together, the better-equipped and resilient your child will be in the real world which will then have a domino effect on positive self-image.

Father reading a story for his childCredit: Wavebreak Media Ltd

#4 Moral

Homer: Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.

Anti-Homer: Reading moral stories at bedtime will offer up more opportunities than would otherwise surface.  There is so much more to learn in everyday storytelling, it will spark your memories so you can instill the morals important to you and allow you to share your own perspective.  The alternative is for them to be influenced from television or friends.  Your child needs your perspective and guidance.

#5 Optimism

Homer: “Dear Lord.. The gods have been good to me. For the first time in my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So here's the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won't ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal.”

Anti-Homer: Help your boy or girl to be positive, fearless and calm nightly, it will spill over to the day and then to every day through the memories.  It is a trait to carry for a lifetime and will also help him/her to relax and fall asleep with positive thoughts; look forward to the positive interaction and storytelling.  There is a healthy and constructive way to deal with things.  You and your little loved one will be positive and relaxed for bed and refreshed in the morning.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
Amazon Price: $16.99 $7.47 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 5, 2013)
682 reviews: 4.9 out of 5 stars
As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight. One by one, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator finish their work and lie down to rest-so they'll be ready for another day of rough and tough construction play! With irresistible artwork by best-selling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld and sweet, rhyming text, this book will have truck lovers of all ages begging for more.
Goodnight Moon
Amazon Price: $8.99 $4.24 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 5, 2013)
1,039 reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars
In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. "Goodnight room, goodnight moon." And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room--to the picture of the three little bears sitting in chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one--he says goodnight. In this classic of modern children's literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.