Do Today’s Children Still Have Bedtime Stories? image
If you remember the anticipation of snuggling up at bedtime and waiting for Mum or Dad to come and read you another chapter of your current book, or perhaps rifling through some of the older picture books on your shelf to sit and share some memories, you’re in luck – it seems that the children of today don’t get to experience this as much as children from previous generations did. What a shame this is. There was something just so magical about lying in the dark listening to the stories come to life around us.


But just why have these once loved old traditional fallen out of favour? The sleep experts at Little Lucy Willow gave us some of their ideas – and they are very much to do with our modern times.

No Time

One of the biggest issues the prevents parents from reading a bedtime story to their children is the same issue that plagues everyone in so many other aspects of their life – lack of time. The world is a much busier place these days than it ever has been before, and even children are doing more things and feeling the stress of being overwhelmed a lot earlier. For parents, their child’s bedtime tends to represent the start of another session of work, or perhaps making dinner or tidying up. If they do get to sit down they want to do it sooner rather than later. Any one of these things (or all of them) can mean that the bedtime story is skipped altogether, because parents need to get on with all the things still on their to do list. 

If the bedtime story is to continue – as it should do; it’s the ideal time to recharge, relax, and bond with your child – then parents will need to make time. Just 10 minutes is all it need take, and that’s easy to gain by making bath time shorter (turn it into a shower and you’re saving both time and water), or perhaps by bringing bedtime forward by a few minutes to incorporate story time. After a little while, reading a bedtime story will become a habit that you both enjoy and that you’ll miss if you have to miss it out for legitimate reasons.

No Confidence

Some parents don’t read because they can’t read – or they don’t think they are very good at it. They shy away from the bedtime story because they just don’t want their children to realise that they can’t read as well as they think they should be able to; they are, in other words, embarrassed. Parents are, surely, meant to know everything and be able to do anything, aren’t they? Not being able to read would shatter that myth. They may also feel as though their children may not continue to try hard at school if they know their own parents can’t read too well; children do like to emulate their parents wherever possible, so this could indeed happen.

However, remember this: there are no perfect parents. Every parent has some kind of foible, some ‘flaw’, but that doesn’t affect how much our children love us. It doesn’t even make us ‘lesser’ parents. Plus, most of the time there is something that can be done about what we perceive to be problems – take not being able to read, or not being able to read confidently, for example. There are plenty of adult literacy classes that will benefit not only you, but your child too.

No Motivation

Sometimes motivation is the deciding factor in whether a bedtime story is read or not. If neither the parent nor the child are feeling ready for a story, if they would both rather be doing other things (or even if just one of the group wants to be doing something else) such as watching TV or playing a computer game, the bedtime story loses some of its high priority status.

If this is the case then it’s time to just fight through it – even if no one really wants to have that bedtime story, do it anyway. As you fight through the resistance, you will begin to enjoy the experience, and so will your child. And even if you do still wish you were doing something else, when you look back at everything you did for your child, at least you’ll know you did your best.


 Article by Ella Hendrix for Conscious Craft


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