[Solved] Bedtime Stories
I read something in the Daily Telegraph recently which I found quite interesting and wanted to get your opinion on.
It was talking about an internet service that offers to be of help to fathers who are too busy to read bedtime stories to their children in person. Hi-tech software records the voice of fathers reading a bedtime story, adds music and sound effects and emails the child an audio file which they can then play back.
Some are skeptical though. A Dr Richard Fletcher of a families research program in Newcastle University, Australia, says reading involve a whole lot of relationship building. It involves fathers interacting with their children, cuddling them and laughing with them. No email can replicate the benefits of physically sitting down with your child.
This got me thinking....I read to my kids most nights, sometimes it might only be a quick 5 minute story, but it's my time to spend with them in the land of make believe with adventures galore, or sometimes, it's even a story we've made up between us....but what about other guys, do you read to your kids? Do you enjoy it? My mum always read to us, and encouraged a love of books, but my dad never did. Do you think it makes a difference in how close you are to your children?
I used to read to my daughter at bedtime - I used to love doing the voices and the look of awe on her face. She is now an avid reader - devours books as if they are going out of fashion. Her reading age when tested at school was always higher than her actual age, I swear that was because both her mum and myself loved reading to her.
Her favourite bedtime book was Laura's Star, she is far too old for that now but if I'm honest I miss those days.
Storytime is something I'm quite looking forward to once Alex gets a bit older - I half-jokingly told the missus I was going to read him some of the Games Workshop novels and got a right ear bashing! They're no more violent than Narnia but she wouldn't have it 😀
Storytime is something I'm quite looking forward to once Alex gets a bit older
mate, the earlier the better. I started reading to my youngest as soon as she was born, even though she was obviously too young to understand it, and she can already remember some of the stories we read. Now she loves books. Plus, like Gooner says, doing the voices can be the best it 😀
mate, the earlier the better.
Hehe, I think we've got a misunderstanding - I meant bedtime stories, not reading in general 🙂
Alex can't get enough of books, I'd estimate that if you asked him what he wants to play, he'd get a book about 50% of the time (with another 10% being a hoover!). I just can't do bedtime stories at the moment as the only way we get him to sleep is via a breastmilk coma and sneaking him into bed when he's not able to complain 😀
I love readin to them at any time. When they were younger they`d come out with vocabulary they never would have known were it not for books. People were amazed they`d developed the concentration to sit down and enjoy a book too. For them its an education, for me....well like you guys...i loved doing the voices (pirate books are perfect!)
I miss reading my son bed time stories, we (I say we, but it was probably more me) loved the Gruffalo and all of the others that came after, like room on a broom and the gruffalo's child.
It was areally nice way to end the day and for us both to unwind and relax.
I am with you Darren - loved the whole evening routine and would sit and read with them at bedtime, as they got older they read school books to me.
Now prizing them away from laptops before bed is the name of the game!
I think electronics have ruined relationships between children and perants, as it seems most people I talk to have the issue of getting the kids away from video games or tv.
My son who's 8 (and lives with his mum) seems to spend a lot of time watching tv or playing DS games.
similarly my nephew who is 6 knows more about ds/wii/xbox than most teenagers and has no interest in books.
When my son comes to stay he has a culture shock as the tv doesn't go on and we don't really play the wii, my step son doesn't really show too much of an interest in them he would rather read and play lego, when he does go on them he loses interest quickly and will go back to lego ect.
DD is 5 and a half and always has a bed time story, even if it's just a very short one. Last christmas she had a 365 bed time story book, so most evenings me or her mother reads her one of these then she quickly gets flat out.
DS is a different kettle of fish, he gets bored easily with stories at bedtime, so unless he specifically asks for one we tend to do the reading with him in the daytime. Granted it's almost always The Gruffalo or some Mr Men books that get read over and over, but it's still that time with them.
Luckily both me and the other half read a fair bit, so have the patience, and a varied collection of books we've kept from childhood to help give that variety at times.
I always read to my eldest when I can. Now that he's 5, we're now re-reading some of his earlier books with him reading pages back to me. He has a school book as well, so we tend to read from 2 books each evening.
We've also started moving towards books with chapters or points in the narrative where you can put it down at the end of a page and wait till the next evening to find out.
It goes without saying that reading books to children opens up a lot of experiences and aids their development, even from an early age.
* Asking them what will happen next;
* Finding a word on a page, counting instances of words;
* Looking for a character or item in the pictures;
* Asking them to describe the images, retelling the story in their own words;
But most nights tend to end with us discussing things that have happened during his day, or what we might do tomorrow. The conversational tangents are as much a part of why you make yourself available to your child every evening, it's not just about the reading.
I then leave the book(s) with him to read through again before he actually goes to sleep, rather than put them back on the shelf immediately. A bit like leaving kids to babble away on their own in the mornings when they're toddlers, I'm sure it helps to leave the books with him to "read" on his own before bed.
What I'd also love to find a good source of free children's picture books online that I can then display on an eReader/tablet, to expand on the number of books he has available to him. Currently I just use it from time to time to watch a cbeebies bedtime story instead.
My youngest has just turned 1. He enjoys me reading his little plastic books to him, even when it's just counting animals, so I hope he'll enjoy reading as much as the eldest. I'm actually encouraging the eldest to learn to read on his own by telling him he'll soon be able to read to his brother. I can tell from the smile on his face when I suggest it that I know he'll get a sense of pride out of that achievement.
I agree about leaving them to read the books. With all three of my children, as soon as they could read, they had the choice at bedtime of either going to sleep or reading as long as they want - naturally they always chose to read, with the result that all of them are now avid readers, and it was very rare that I actually had to tell them to stop reading and go to sleep, they usually fell asleep while reading.