Bedtime stories ditched in favour of screen time

The traditional bedtime story is under threat, with screen time fast-becoming the new story time when it comes to sending kids to sleep, a report has claimed.

One in ten parents never read a bedtime story to their children.
One in ten parents never read a bedtime story to their children.

The survey, which sampled 1,000 parents with children between the ages of six months and 10 years old, found that four in 10 read to their children at bedtime less than three times a week, with one in 10 admitting they never pick up a book.

Working late and battling tiredness at the end of the day are the main reasons why families skip the bedtime ritual. Only two in 10 said they never miss reading their little ones a bedtime story.

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Meanwhile, over half of parents let their children watch TV before nodding off and a quarter give them a phone or tablet to play on.

When parents do reach for a page-turner, the average bedtime story lasts just thirteen minutes.

Tales about adventure are the most popular amongst kids, with fairy-tales coming in second place.

James Wheatcroft, a spokesman for Novotel, which carried out the research, said: “With demanding schedules, parents often struggle to find the time for bedtime stories, but our research shows that they are valued by kids, as well as mums and dads. Whether it’s a story of dragons or princesses or simply reminiscing about a day spent together, stories bring families together, and that’s important to us.”

Over two thirds of parents said they feel guilty about not picking up a book for them more often, with the same amount valuing bedtime stories as a great opportunity to bond with their children.