How important is reading to your child?

How important is your child’s bedtime story?

For children small things can become really significant. Making rose petal perfume with your best friends, sharing your granddad’s favourite biscuits, running around your auntie’s house (which seems HUGE at the time) searching for her cat and lying cosy and safe in bed being read a bedtime story by someone who loves you.

Sadly, new research shows we could be moving into an era where night time stories are a thing of the past. Once a loving way to end a child’s day is now deemed not so important.

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A new survey from TomTom, marking the launch of its new GO 5000 and children’s book promotion, has found 1/3 of parents never read their child a bedtime story.
34% of parents admit they don’t read bedtime stories saying they have to work late or don’t have time due to traffic/ their daily commute. Dads blame evening work commitments (33%) whereas for Mums tiredness (30%) is the main reason they don’t read their children to sleep.

This makes me feel sad. I remember snuggling into bed after a bath wearing my favourite Victoria Plum nightie (how ‘80s), waiting for my mum to tuck me in and read to me as I drifted off into a happy, imaginary world.

Child Psychologist Dr. Richard Woolfson reveals: “A bedtime story can be so rewarding for young children. It relaxes them before sleep, boosts their development, stimulates their interest in reading and enhances the parent-child bond. The research revealed the average bedtime story takes just 16 minutes, so with a little bit of planning it can easily become part of your child’s end-of-day pre-sleep routine. Once parents start reading bedtime stories regularly, they are often surprised how much they enjoy it!”

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As a new mum of a 7-month-old I’m already trying to get into the habit of reading her a bedtime story. Even though she’s too young to really understand, I love our quiet, sleepy bonding time.

Very interested to hear other parent’s view. Do you read to your child? Does it make you feel more relaxed/ happier? Or do you think it’s old fashioned and unnecessary?

The study was conducted to launch TomTom’s GO 5000 satnav which comes with a free children’s book, Alfie’s Story, written by award-winning author Miriam Moss. To buy online click here

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