Bye-Bye Bedtime Stories? Say It Ain't So!

bedtimeMy husband and I try and read at least one story to our kids at bedtime.

It usually works out. If one of us is too tired, the other one usually picks up the slack.

It’s important to us. We’re both avid readers, and I attribute my love of reading to the stories my mom read to me as a child. I never came to view books as schoolwork or boring because I was introduced to them as adventures, treats, and fun things to indulge in after jammies were on and teeth were brushed.

But, as Today reports, despite the countless benefits of reading to children (stimulating a child’s cognitive, social and emotional development, exposing them to language and storytelling), fewer parents than ever are adhering to the bedtime story tradition.

According to a poll published in The Guardian, only 13 percent of British moms read a story to their children every night, even though three-quarters recalled being read to on a daily basis when they were kids. Still, 64 percent of respondents said they read their children bedtime stories at some point during the week. The poll of 2,000 U.K. women with children aged 7 or under was conducted by British retailer Littlewoods.

So why aren’t more moms reading to their kids more often? Some say they feel too stressed out, and 13 percent say they don’t have enough time. I totally understand, especially if the parent is flying solo. Dealing with kids all day long can be so overwhelming, I’ve often found myself watching the clock for bedtime so that I can pour a glass of wine and finally relax. The last thing I feel like doing is cranking through Horton Hatches the Egg for the eighty-billionth time.

Interestingly, American moms and dads are more likely to read to their kids at bedtime. In a poll by Harris Interactive of 1,000 people with kids ages 8 or younger, a whopping 87 percent of U.S. parents said they read bedtime stories with their children, but only one in three parents do so daily.

Not to add more to your parenting plate, but just one story a night can be hugely beneficial. As Dr. Barry Zuckerman, a professor in the department of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, says, “This is a special time and a special gift, both that they can give their child and actually the child’s interest in this time is a gift for them. Part of being a parent is to make sure that those kinds of times they don’t have to be hours, they can be five or 10 minutes that they preserve them.”

Just ten minutes. Ten minutes that will create a bond, an everlasting memory, and precious time for your child to unwind and get ready to sleep.

“Parents actually have some authority and say, ‘This is what we do the machines aren’t at bedtime,'” Zuckerman tells Today. “I’m going to read you a story and I’m going to be here with you.”

How often do you read your kids a bedtime story?

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Read more from Monica on Babble:

Article Posted 3 years Ago
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