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Is it the end of the bedtime story?

Polls show that most parents don’t read to their children regularly.

By Kristin Wong Sep 6, 2013 3:38PM

Farewell, "Goodnight Moon" — the bedtime ritual of reading to children might be on its way out. According to recent research, few parents regularly read bedtime stories to their kids.

Elyse Lewin/Getty ImagesMSN Living: Baths, books and beyond: The keys to a successful bedtime ritual

A poll conducted by Harris Interactive found that only 33 percent of U.S. parents read bedtime stories with their children nightly. Fifty percent of parents say their children spend more time with TV or video games than with books.

Bing: Best bedtime stories

The results were similar in another poll from Australia. The Optus Literacy Study revealed that only one in four parents read a bedtime story to their child daily.

Literacy nonprofit Reading Is Fundamental commissioned the former study. The organization’s president stressed the importance of bedtime stories, saying they “build the foundation for future achievement.”

MSN Living: Best books for reading to babies and toddlers

Tell us — do you think nightly bedtime stories are important? Which bedtime story was your favorite as a kid?

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Photo: Elyse Lewin/Getty Images

132Comments
Sep 14, 2013 4:18AM
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We need to remember that if we adults take time to read, it does more than just show kids how to read.  It shows that they are important to you.  The bonds made at an early age will last forever.  It will help form the foundation of a great relationship to where maybe later as they grow up they will talk to you about everything.  Though that seems like a far away dream, it can happen.  The trust that has been built will grow as you take the time to read. the more the stories vary the more information that can transferred that might help them with peer pressure, drugs, sex, the possibilities are endless.
Sep 13, 2013 2:53AM
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Reading together is essential.  I loved reading to my girls and they both love reading now.  I still get one of our favorite picture books every now and then and read it to them (age 14 and 16).

 

My kids would take out so many books from the library I would return them in boxes.  It doesn't cost much, starts great school habits, conversations and is fun. 

Sep 13, 2013 2:07AM
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Nightly bedtime stories can become wonderful rituals with rich language experience. Get the TVs out of childrens' bedrooms and read to them before they go to sleep. This allows one on one time with a parent that the child will treasure forever.
Sep 13, 2013 1:37AM
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ummm no one told my kid! We negotiate every night on the number of books to read. He starts at 20, I whittle it down to 5, unless I'm tired then just 2 or 3. It's enjoyable and relaxing for both of us.
Sep 13, 2013 12:34AM
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Absolutely!  Bond with child, learn appreciation for the written word, relieves stress levels for both child and adult!  Absolutely invaluable.
Sep 12, 2013 11:06PM
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I found that taking my kids to the book store and allowing them to pick the books that interested them. By that I mean making sure that it was age appropriate but also allowing them to pick what interested them. Not what I thought should interest them.

I believe in showing by example. If they see em enjoying reading a book than they'll want to know what is so interesting. Reading to them and with them too. If they found a book that they wanted I bought it for them. Even if that means I have to go without lunch for the week. Visiting the library and limiting video game times. If you want to play a video game than you have to have played outside for x amount of time. at the end of the day while we are winding down. The TV goes off and we all spent time reading before going to bed.
I also encouraged them to try creative writing themselves. To continue the stories/adventures of their favorite books.

Sep 12, 2013 10:24PM
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My favorite stories that my mother read to me as a child were James and the Giant Peach and the Wizard of Oz books. It was a quiet and peaceful time of the day amidst the chaos of our daily lives. I now read to my daughter who is now 8 and a wonderful reader herself...but she does prefer that I read the bedtime stories even though she is quite capable on her own. It is one of the most nuturing and beautiful experiences - sharing a story, laughing together, asking questions, thinking and predicting what will happen next. Sometimes she even corrects the writer and tells me how the author "should have" said something rahter than how they did. It's quite lovely and for those parents who haven't tried it, take a chance and spend 20 minutes with your child in that quiet space between the pages of a book. Life passes quickly.

Sep 10, 2013 11:09PM
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No one EVER read to me or any one I know of in my family!  All I was told was to get my a** is bed!  I have had children, but I can PROMISE if I had, they would have been raised with a host of perks my parents never even thought of giving me!!
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