Do you read to your children at bedtime?


75% of adults read in bed every night and most of us know the benefits of reading to our children at bedtime, with 93% of parents who read to their children agreeing that it provides us with precious quality time together.

In a recent survey carried out by Furniture Village it was revealed that 68% of parents enjoy reading the classic bedtime story and yet one in ten doesn’t read to their children during the week at all, claiming their children find reading ‘boring’. 

Arguably, the rise of screen-stimulated activities has usurped the now ‘out-dated’ story at bedtime. If offered the choice between ten more minutes watching gaming videos instead of reading a book, sadly most children devour the former. As adults the majority of us remain firm believers in our own ‘down-time’ where we read and relax before sleeping, so what is it that occurs in our families where the value of reading at bedtime isn’t upheld? 

As children grow they inevitably become more interested in the immediate stimulation of their smart-phones, so perhaps as parents we need to consider a more preventative angle over the waning interest in reading bedtime stories. If you’ve ‘given-in’ and allowed devices in your children’s lives (and let's be honest, most of us do) then you’ll know it’s a losing battle trying to tackle a phone out of the grasp of a feisty 12-year-old and propose a chapter or two of the latest fantasy-heist instead. However, if instilled as an unshifting and pleasurable routine from a very young age, the bedtime story can continue to be a joyful experience for the pre-teen too. 

In the research findings it was uncovered that: 

  • 5% of parents have never read to their children
  • 17% of those who don’t read to their children believe it to have no significance to developing skills
  • younger parents are more likely to read 
  • 11% of parents read to their children but only at weekends
  • 5% or 8700 UK children are read to by their nannies 
  • 14% of grandparents read to their grandchildren at bedtime 
  • One in five sees reading as an ‘outdated’ activity

The issue is not with children finding reading ‘boring’ but perhaps more in parents finding it ‘outdated’ or having no use. If we don’t teach our children to read for joy we are raising a very uninspiring and unimaginative generation, quite apart from preventing them from having a wider and more rounded understanding about the diverse world in which they live. We have a responsibility to our children to teach them the wonder, escape and delight to be found in great books.

Indeed, if the process begins with reading the back of a cereal packet in a silly voice but you manage nevertheless to engage the child, then you’re more than half-way there. Books can change lives, inspire and encourage as well as educate and enlighten. Who wouldn’t want to give their children this powerful tool to enjoy?


Research data by /