For hundreds, if not thousands of years, parents have known that reading bedtime stories can help kids relax and fall asleep more easily. They also help develop reading skills and in emotional child development, but you may not be aware that they also act as a form of hypnosis. In which case the content of some of the stories we share with our children may need to be re condidered.

Research around brain waves has revealed that there are 4 main wavelengths or types of brainwaves, divided into predominant speed ranges or patterns (cycles per second or hertz (Hz)): Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta. Delta being the longest and slowest brainwave at 0.5 - 4 Hz, while Beta brainwaves are much shorter and faster at 13 - 30 Hz.

As adults we spend most of our waking, consciousness in the alert Beta state. When we are dreaming, in deep hypnosis, meditating, or "in the zone" such as occasionally occurs in sports or music, we enter the Theta state. This also happens as we are drifting into sleep and just as we are waking up.

Personal development experts tell us that these are the most effective times to repeat affirmations, use visualisation or review our goals. Because we are in the Theta state, the positive messages get past the filters of the conscious mind and can plant helpful suggestions directly into the subconscious.

When a child is between the ages of 2 and 6, their brainwaves are predominantly in the Theta state, which helps explains their rich imagination and creativity at this stage of child development.
From six to twelve years of age, children's brainwaves accelerate to the Alpha state.
As adults the Alpha state occurs when we meditate, daydream or enter the lighter states of hypnosis or highway hypnosis as you may have experienced when you drift off when driving a familiar route.

Children between 2 and 12 therefore, are typically in the same brainwave states as adults are when in hypnosis, meditation or day dreaming. Which are precisely the states where we become most suggestible.
What makes this even more important is that bedtime stories are the last thing your child will hear before falling asleep and will play in the subconscious part of their mind all night.

During the golden age of child development, where they unquestionably believes in magic, Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy, you have a golden opportunity to program them for maximum success. Or, on the contrary, careless, negative words and influences can become harmful hypnotic suggestions that form powerful obstacles to the developing personality. Even after children begin to reach the age of reason they generally go in and out of hypnosis fairly regularly, using their imaginations to amuse themselves and spending a lot of time “in their own little worlds.”

“Perhaps, the best way to understand the importance of bedtime stories is to look back and recall some of your own favourite stories from childhood,” says Sandra Dye, Psychotherapist and Child Expert, Developer of the: 5-Step Parenting System - Stay Connected To Have Influence. “As an adult, you may even notice that some of the messages in your favourite stories have played out in your life in some instrumental way.”

What becomes clear therefore is the need to be very aware of the suggestions we are giving our children that will have an effect on their adult life. Are you for example through bedtime stories, suggesting to your children that the world is full of opportunity or a scary place?

The Financial Fairy Tales series of books have been written to help empower children through the discovery of positive values and life affirming messages around money and business.

Consider carefully the positive beliefs and values that you would wish your children to grow up with. Whether developing their self image, confidence or their understanding about what is possible or beyond their reach. Positive, empowering messages will create positive, empowering beliefs.

Author's Bio: 

Daniel Britton is a Financial Education expert, author and inspirational speaker.
His Financial Fairy Tales series of books and resources promote financial literacy for kids through fun and engaging stories.