Most of us have vivid memories of the bedtime stories our parents read to us. Much appreciated by toddlers, this evening ritual tends to disappear due to lack of time or self-confidence.
A tradition that is disappearing for lack of time
In any case, this is what a survey* carried out by the publishing house Ladybird and relayed by The Bookseller confirms. Three-quarters of respondents would like to have more time to read a story to their toddlers. A similar proportion of parents favor the traditional bedtime of children, i.e. between 6 and 8 p.m., to indulge in this activity, and believe that there is no other time appropriate in the day to do so.
However, 17% of respondents would consider reading to their children in the morning, between 8 and 10 am. This alternative is certainly made possible by the rise of telecommuting, a mode of organization that saves some parents valuable time.
Parents convinced of the importance of this ritual
Despite these differences of opinion, the parents interviewed are convinced of the importance of reading stories to toddlers. Most of them think that this activity allows them to spend quality time with their children (81%), while 68% even see it as a way to strengthen the emotional bond that unites them.
But that’s not the only benefit of reading aloud. Several research works show that this activity makes it possible to develop the linguistic skills of the child and to make work its auditory memory. In addition, it awakens a taste for reading, which is of paramount importance. Indeed, reading is extremely beneficial on a cognitive, intellectual and behavioral level. It also involves brain mechanisms that children will benefit from as they grow, according to a study published in the journal Psychology Medicine.
No need to be a “born storyteller”
Overall, 93% of parents believe it is essential to read stories to children. Ladybird’s survey shows, however, that some adults are reluctant to do so with children under the age of one due to their (very) young age. Others don’t dare read to them for lack of self-confidence. They are afraid of not succeeding in doing it correctly, and especially of not interpreting the different characters of the chosen story well.
Fears that they should brush aside according to Lucy Walters, author and dubbing actress. “Your child loves the sound of your voice, the special moment when you share the story with him, following the words, showing the pictures, and participating in the story at every stage of the story. There is no right or wrong way to read a story. The fact that you are yourself is enough for your child“, she told The Bookseller.
*The Censuswide Institute conducted this survey on behalf of the publishing house Ladybird among 1,013 British parents of children aged 0 to 5 years.