Screen time is replacing bedtime stories for many youngsters, according to a new study. Why? Look at your own life. Household chores, work pressures and plain old fatigue are preventing parents from reading to their kids.
Only three percent of all fathers surveyed read to their kids. Those who don't blame late nights at the office or general "tiredness" for keeping them from a cozy snuggle with "Brown Bear Brown Bear." Dust bunnies, dinner time and dirty dishes distract 49 percent of mothers from reading.
So what are the kids doing? Exactly what you'd think: Spending up to two hours a day watching TV or playing computer games; many have electronic devices in their bedrooms. And if anyone is taking over night-time story hour at all, it's grandma and grandpa.I can't say we're much different. With television networks operating 24 hours a day, it's too easy to let the screen take over. Recently, our 4-year-old daughter started sight-reading on her own, and it dawned on us that we've been pretty lazy about reading to her -- and considering that I'm a writer and my husband is a doctoral fellow, that's just lpathetic.
We're tired, yes. Exhausted, really. But we bought her a series of easy chapter books, and we take turns reading one chapter to her. So far, we've managed to read almost every night.
Not only does it help her learn to love reading, it also gives us a chance to slow down and cuddle with her. At first it seemed like one more chore to check off the list. Now it's my favourite part of the day.
My parents read to me and my siblings before we went to sleep, and often during the day. Granted, my mum didn't work, but my dad read me bedtime stories on countless nights. Of course, back then, there were three TV stations and no Internet; now, it's just too easy to work around the clock.
Are you reading to your kids?