A recent tabloid headline got our attention.
‘Half of all parents too busy to read a bedtime story to children’ Read the article headline, published earlier this month in the Daily Mail.
The story was based on research compiled on behalf of Silentnight, themselves hoping to promote their own ‘Book at Bedtime’ competition. 1,000 parents were quizzed about reading to their children at bedtime, and although 97 per cent agreed that reading to children before bedtime was of developmental benefit, only 53 per cent confirmed that they did, in fact, read to their children at this time.
Most parents that said they did not read to their children, said that they did not do so, based on being too embarrassed to read out aloud to them. The study also revealed that half of the children under 12 watch DVDs in bed
This, in isolation, is a worrying figure, but I am unsure that 1,000 parents being questioned is enough to gain a real idea of how many children are read to at bedtime across the county, and is possibly sensationalist to offer a headline saying that half of ALL children are not read to before lights out.
I certainly hope that the reality is much brighter to that recorded by this research, but have looked back to a blog post I wrote in October, based on the annual study compiled for Booktrust, which found DVDs increasingly popular amongst older children at bedtime.
For me, as a parent, bedtime reading has always felt right, but I can sympathise with parents that feel uneasy with reading out aloud, I’ve been self conscious in the presence of visitors, and on the odd occasion I have had to read in public, but really, what is the bigger issue?
Reading to a child is obviously of immense benefit, and the joy in watching a child revel in being read to, and then reading themselves, is something every parent should enjoy. It really should be, and is, a parent’s privilege.
Inspiration is all around us, not only in the faces, ears and mouths of our children, but if you need further encouragement, look no further than Jim Brozina, and his daughter Kristen from Millville, New Jersey.
Mr Brozina and his youngest daughter, enjoyed a nine year ‘streak’ of reading together each night.
Inspired by the failure to continue reading to his eldest daughter once she had learnt to read herself, the elementary school librarian decided to not make the same mistake again. Initially setting himself and his youngest daughter the target of reading for 100 nights on-the-trot, which then became 1,000, and so on.
A truly wonderful story, and hopefully one virtually replicated all over the World, between parent and child.
I am unsure where we are in our streak, but it is incredible rare of us to have a night without reading.
But how about you? Can you beat Mr Brozina?