Vast majority of parents agree it's important to do this before their kids go to bed

SWNS
·3-min read

Parents don't stop telling their children bedtime stories until the age of eight — because it's their favorite part of their day.

A study of 2,000 moms and dads revealed one in 10 have continued with the bedtime storytelling routine until their youngster reached 13 or even older, with 11% stopping as young as three to four.

As many as 86% said they love putting their kids to bed and reading or telling a story, with 36% saying it's the most quality time they get with them all day.

And three in 10 enjoy storytime because it's also a chance for them to be creative and use their imagination.

The study, commissioned by Wonderbly, also found three in four wished they could NEVER stop telling their youngster stories, and a further 23% said they don't plan on ever stopping.

It also emerged that 15% love storytime so much they started reading to their children before they were even born, but were safely growing inside mom.

And a fifth started reading and telling their little one bedtime tales from the moment they came into the big wide world.

"Storytime not only fosters a wonderful closeness but also encourages conversation and helps kids to relax," said David Cadji-Newby, author and creative director at Wonderbly.

"Our study goes to show just how many parents and carers look forward to this time with their children — no matter what their age — as the benefits are endless on both sides.

"Whoever said that you have to stop storytime with your children by a particular age? There's certainly no rule book, so we feel you should be free to go on for as long as you'd like."

The research also found a huge 93% of doting parents agreed it's important to tell children stories before they go to sleep.

Among the reasons it's such an essential part of the bedtime routine are: it calms them down before drifting off, it's an effective bonding exercise and it's good for a child's imagination.

And the average parent will spend just shy of 15 minutes each evening reading books to their youngster - adding up to an hour and 17 minutes each week.

It also emerged that eight in 10 said bedtime and the bedtime routine is one of the best things about being a parent.

In fact, storytime trumps all other aspects of the bedtime routine (49%) for parents, beating out bath time (23%) and even giving them cuddles (44%).

And it also takes the top of the poll for kids as well (45%), ahead of picking out pajamas (18%) and watching TV (26%).

It's evident of the importance of getting tucked in with a good book, as nine in 10 said reading or telling their child a bedtime story makes them feel closer to their children.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found seven in 10 moms and dads reckon they are good storytellers and storybook readers.

Forty-one percent are more likely to read stories than tell them, but 21% are more likely to opt for using their imagination and conjure up a fairytale that is just right for their little one.

Of those that make up their own tales, 47% said it's more fun, while half agreed it gives them a chance to personalize the story for their child.

"Family life is increasingly busy and cuddling up with a bedtime story is the perfect way to connect after a hectic day," added David Cadji-Newby.

"Personalisation adds even more magic to storytime as it helps children relate to the storylines - it's really them, in the story! This makes kids far more receptive to the key messages and learnings of each tale - from courage, to friendship, to curiosity and kindness."