Bedtime fairy tales improve children's development: reading ambassador

Bedtime fairy tales improve children's development: reading ambassador

Reading Ambassador Heri Hendrayana Harris, or Gol A Gong, and author of 'Balada si Roy', has highlighted the importance of bedtime stories. (

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Bedtime fairy tales, if routinely read by parents to children, have an important influence on children that lasts into adulthood, author and Indonesian Reading Ambassador, Heri Hendrayana Harris, has said.

According to Harris, whose pen name is Gol A Gong, parents who regularly read fairy tales strengthen their relationship with their children.

Bedtime stories can foster positive behavior in children through the morals contained in such tales, he said.

"Bedtime stories have affected my writing career. I am here not only because I read (stories) but also from listening to bedtime fairy tales read by my mother before going to bed," he said during a webinar entitled 'Fairy Tale Class: Elevating Literacy through Fairy Tales'.

The webinar was organized by the Community Development Center of the Alumni Association of the University of Indonesia (ILUNI UI) on Saturday.

He recalled that his parents related many stories to him when he was a child, such as the stories of Prophets, Hercules, Jaka Tarub, Abu Nawas, and Malin Kundang.

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He said he also practices a similar reading routine with his four children because he believes it has a positive impact on building the inner bond between parents and children.

"I tell stories I heard from my parents to my four children. Sometimes I do not use books because my mother did it orally," Harris added.

He said there are many life values he has included in his books, such as sharing with others, not discriminating between people, helping each other, and cherishing and respecting parents and siblings.

"In high school, I loved to tell stories to my friends about films I watched because at that time in Serang, Banten, reading literacy was very low," he explained.

Harris, the author of Balada si Roy, advised parents to not let children go to bed before telling them a story first.

According to him, storytelling before bed can also be seen as quality time spent with children and aid their cognitive development, improve their verbal skills, and expand their vocabulary.

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