The bedtime story is a key moment of bonding between parent as child, as the little ones get tucked in and regaled by tales of Gruffalos, bear hunts and very hungry caterpillars.
But a new survey by Alton Towers suggests that modern parents may be closing the book on storytelling, with only 19% finding the time to read to their children every night.
Almost three-quarters of parents see story time as an added strain on their day, with 71% rating it one of the most stressful things they do.
But the absence of a book in their little one’s bedtime ritual isn’t always for lack for want. Almost two thirds of those polled wish they had more time to read to their children, but work demands, childcare and general household duties leave little time for a simple fairy tale – a fact 40% of mums say fills them with guilt.
'Lack of confidence' to blame for lack of bedtime stories
It’s not just busy schedules but also a lack of confidence that leads to a struggle at story time. One in two mums blame their poor imagination on their irregular bedtime readings, while one in 10 men say their poor reading skills make them embarrassed to read to their kids.
And while 74% acknowledge that reading to their children is an important part of parenting, 28% of parents admit to actively avoiding story time, preferring to socialise with friends instead. A further 17% admitted they’d rather put their child in front of the television than read them a book.
In a bid to bring back the nation’s love of bedtime stories, Alton Towers Resort is releasing a new children’s book The Enchanted Village, to be available exclusively in its new accommodation of the same name.
Written by reputable HarperCollins author and former Children’s Book Award winner Jeanne Willis, the new children’s tale will launch in April 2015 when the new woodland lodges and luxury treehouses also open.