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The power of bedtime stories image

The power of bedtime stories

And how a new kids’ book, 'The Forgetful Prince', was born.

Let’s talk about something near and dear to many of us: bedtime stories. Those cozy moments before sleep when we snuggle up with our little ones and open the pages of a book. It’s a time for bonding, imagination and, for us Christian families, a chance to instill some important values.

Bedtime stories are like hidden treasure chests, filled with opportunities to teach and inspire. In our family, we found that short, sweet tales before bed offered the perfect platform for planting seeds of faith and character in our children. It’s a chance to share timeless truths in a way that captivates their hearts and minds.

As Christian parents, we’re always on the lookout for stories that reflect our values and beliefs. Whether it’s tales of resilience, faithfulness, kindness or forgiveness, we want our children to see these principles lived out in the characters they meet. That’s why we carefully select bedtime stories that align with our Christian principles. It’s not about preaching; it’s about weaving faith seamlessly into the fabric of our storytelling, creating a blanket of truth and love that our kids can wrap around themselves throughout their lives. A wonderful way we found to do this was with a ‘story from my mind’.

The Forgetful Prince: a story from my mind

As we tucked our kids into bed, we’d often ask them for three things: a person, a place and a problem. Then using these three prompts, we would attempt to tell tales of our own. The story of The Forgetful Prince began one night with my son choosing these three things—a person (himself), a place (a jungle), and a problem (Atticus can’t remember who he is). For some reason, Atticus would come back to these three things. So, I would re-tell the story, adding characters, situations and events. All the while being interrupted by questions, laughter, the need to go to the toilet and Atticus telling me why I was telling the story wrong. It was lovely. But it also meant we could creatively incorporate our own experiences, values, context and teaching into the story. I will always cherish these moments. 

The Forgetful Prince: a journey of self-discovery

The story of The Forgetful Prince became the story of Atticus—a bright young boy who, like many of us, sometimes forgets who he truly is. Through encounters with wise jungle creatures, Atticus embarks on a journey of self-discovery, learning valuable lessons about faith, identity and belonging. Sound familiar? This ‘forgetting’ of who we truly are as Christians happens to  many of us. It’s a story that resonates deeply with our family. We all need reminding of how much God loves us, who we are in Christ and of our royal heritage as children of God.

Nurturing our children’s faith

Stories like the little tale of The Forgetful Prince can have a profound  impact on child’s growing faith. The themes of forgiveness, redemption, God’s unconditional love, the riches of his blessings and the privilege we have of calling God ‘our Father’ become ingrained in their hearts, guiding them through life’s ups and downs with grace and confidence. It’s a beautiful reminder of the power of storytelling to shape young minds and the minds of adults willing to listen.

Telling a story from your mind is not for everyone or for every night. Some nights I struggled to be inspired because I was tired or just wanted the kids to go to sleep so I could spend time with my wife. But on the nights it did happen, it opened up the opportunity to teach my kids about so many things—the beauty of God, the wonders of his universe and our unique place in it.

So, as you tuck your little ones in tonight, remember the power of bedtime stories. In those precious moments before sleep, we have the opportunity to nurture our children’s faith, instill important values, and strengthen family bonds. Whether it’s The Forgetful Prince, another beloved tale or even a ‘story from your mind’, may we continue to use the gift of storytelling to draw our family closer to God and to each other.
Matt Redmond is the author of The Forgetful Prince and his wife, Lauren, is the illustrator. Together, they are navigating the beautiful, messy journey of raising kids. With a heart for storytelling and a passion for faith, they hope to inspire other families to cultivate deep, meaningful relationships in creative ways. Connect with them and read more about The Forgetful Prince here.


The Forgetful Prince

This beautifully illustrated book helps children aged 3 to 7 to know and remember the truth we read in the Bible: that God is good, his children are precious to him, and they have a very special place in his kingdom.

Buy it from Youthworks Media

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