The Tradition of Bedtime Stories

Griffin’s room is, primarily, centered around books. We love them, and in turn want him to grow up surrounded by them.

BooksAs parents, there are a few things that we’re very diligent about. Griffin’s bedtime routine is one of them. We always begin by feeding him, followed by a bath with lots of fun bubbles, lotion with a mini massage, and then snuggling into PJs. After this, Jeremy and I both sit on either side of him and take turns reading from one of his many storybooks. A prayer is the last thing we do before tucking him into his crib.

I love this routine. I think Griffin does, as well. It’s our most intimate family time right now – a time when lights are dim and noises are at a minimal. He may not fully understand what’s going on, but he realizes that when all of these elements are present, it’s time to go down for the night. Very rarely does he take more than a few minutes to settle.

But a new survey suggests that we may be one of the few families that do this. The Today Show actually discussed the survey, although I first heard about it from Media Bistro.

Only 33% of parents read bedtime stories to their children. Of those parents, 50% admitted that their children devoted more time to television and video games than to books. These were all children ages 8 and younger.

I was actually really surprised and sad about this. There’s a huge market for children’s books, so when are they being read? Do the parents just wait for kids to reach the age when they can read to themselves? Do they perhaps pick a different time of day to read to them?

Maybe I was just a nerdy kid, but I remember many afternoons as a little girl spent curled up in the window seat in my bedroom, surrounded by stuffed animals as I read Nancy Drew and Baby Sitters Club mysteries. Later I would sneak my mom’s Mary Higgins Clark and Nora Roberts paperbacks. My love of reading was a direct result of my parents’ love for it. They read to me and fostered a desire to explore books on my own.

If not for parents instilling this from the beginning, what hope do books have in the future?

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4 thoughts on “The Tradition of Bedtime Stories

  1. 33% is less than I thought! Our bedtime routines are similar! Except we usually read for a quiet time during the day. As a child, I remember that before I was even able to read, I knew a lot of my stories by heart and so my mom couldn’t skip some pages when she was tired (even though she tried). It’s great that you are continuing a tradition that was started when you were a child. You bookcase looks great! So full of stories 😉 And that clock! May I ask where you found it?

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