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We are told over and over that we have to read to our children every night. Am I the only one who doesn't? What is it th

Answered 9 days ago

We are told over and over that we have to read to our children every night. Am I the only one who doesn't? What is it that stops us doing this when we know it is the 'right thing' to do?

  • No books at home

    5%
  • Anything else?

    12%
  • I find reading aloud really stressful

    2%
  • There are so many other jobs to do at home

    38%
  • I am too tired at night to read

    43%

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ANSWER
11 days ago
I am dyslexic

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REPLY
9 days ago
i like dyslexic people

ANSWER
9 days ago
Just do your best. You can always try reading extra books on weekends?

ANSWER
10 months ago
I can't click more than one, but basically:
I'm exhausted at the end of the day. I have 4 kids that can't agree on a book, and won't sit still while I read the one I decide on (or who's ever turn it is to pick). I still have loads to do when they finally get to bed. And frankly, sometimes I get so sick of always doing the "right" thing. Sometimes I just want to kick back, put my feet up and chill.
Which is why I rarely read to my children. I do occasionally, but it's more not than yes.

Sorry if this sounds snappy, but my own mother (who was neglectful for most of my childhood) just recently chipped me about this. Because she used to read to me when I was 5 and under.
It really got me riled up.

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REPLY
10 months ago
Wow! Thank you thank you thank you! We all parent differently, and there is always a reason why we don't do the 'right' thing. I appreciate your honesty and truly hope you get a chance to catch your breath.

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10 months ago
How old are your older kids - can the older ones read to the younger ones? Sometimes I do this and it actually gets the older ones doing their school readers at the same time ;)

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10 months ago
My older children are 8 and both dyslexic. So they HATE reading. And I don't blame them for not enjoying it. So they don't read to the others. I do put on storytime online for them before bed some nights. They enjoy that. But it's not the same.

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10 months ago
It was your choice to have 4 children. You have the same responsibility to your 4 as I have to my 2 children. Don't force them to miss out because of your choices.

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10 months ago
^you're more than welcome to come and read to them if you'd like.
I'm well aware of what my responsibilities are in regards to my children and home, thank you for your opinion on the matter.
You think they're missing out on some big integral part of growing up if I don't read to them every night?

REPLY
10 months ago
Sadly they are missing out on a big integral part of learning and literacy by not being read to frequently.

REPLY
10 months ago
Ps I also have four kids and don’t read to them daily. But they will read to themselves or just look at the pictures before bed (ages 3, 5, 7 and nine)

REPLY
10 months ago
I read with my eldest 3 when they were little. Not consistently every night, but several times a week and from various sources. It bothers me that people will use this one area as a measuring stick for how my children are being raised.
I read your response shortly after you posted them, and took some time to step back and not immediately get offended. I hope you can grant me the same courtesy. So, I ask you this, would you recommend instead of us snuggling up on the couch of an evening and talking about our day and what we hope tomorrow brings, that we rather snuggle up and read a book? It feels to me like our current routine focuses on their emotional development, but neglects their educational one.
I'm open to hear suggestions on how we can change up the structure of our afternoons to include both. Currently I have trouble finding more time unless I keep them up later (which I prefer not to for so many reasons).

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10 months ago
^Could you maybe try the chatting about the day etc while having dinner?

REPLY
10 months ago
I have tried that in the past, but they end up fighting who gets to talk and then someone accidentally spits in anothers food (they don't really, but you know what kids are like). It's better to just let them eat.

REPLY
11 days ago
You were selfish to have more than 2 kids and now your kids are missing out on being read to

REPLY
11 days ago
Hello. I'm the person who originally reached out to the group to get support. I was hoping for constructive responses as to how we could help each other, not how awful we are to each other or how we don't support each other! Part of me wants to understand why you are responding like this, and the other part of me is begging you to walk in the shoes of others for merely a moment and try and understand! I really welcome a constructive response, as we all have a great deal to gain from learning from each other.

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11 days ago
I have four kids and work full time. I still manage to read. But we a book sort of in the middle. We have been smashing out Harry Potter series for the last 2 months and we read a few pages a night - I read to them. The other kids don’t have to hang about but they usually do. When we have finished the book we watch the movie. It’s like tradition now.

The younger two read to me and do their homework at the table whilst I cook dinner. The older ones do their homework in their room.

ANSWER
10 months ago
I try not to judge.
I slack on so many things.
But reading to your kids is a bit like feeding them
Like it’s bare minimum parenting.
And I say that in the most sincere non assholey way.
The nights are long but the years are oh so fast. And almost every child not only loves to be read to, but it really shapes their literacy.
I say this as a mum who’s slack on homework. Terrible with readers. Dread that 3 minutes every day where I have to brush their teeth, and honestly chop up salad 9/10 rather than cook a meal.
I skip baths cos sometimes I just can’t be arsed and want them in bed by 6.

But I always find time for even just a few pages.

Maybe it’s me and my own opinions I get that.
And I know many others would judge my shortcomings.
But it’s just a few minutes sometimes for a wealth of reward.

ANSWER
10 months ago
I started teaching my kids to read when they were aged two. By age three they were reading chapter books like Holly Webb’s puppy stories. They loved reading and I’d get them to read to me while I enjoyed the cuddle in bed. All of my kids are doing extremely well at school, especially English. I know not everyone has time and we all lead different lives but if you can spare even 5 minutes every couple of days I believe it will make a huge difference to their learning.

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REPLY
10 months ago
I think theres a slight bending of the truth here but I have known kids who learned to read a little before starting school

REPLY
10 months ago
My son just started reading at 18 months, and just kept streaking ahead. Even his pead was speechless. We always read to him because he loved books and learning. We couldn't keep up.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be autism. I'm just thankful he got the above average intelligence trait rather than below average so he'll be independent & live a normal life. Everything else we can help with therapy. In the end that's all we care about.

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10 months ago
Op of this thread. Not bullshit at all. My kids were all reading by age three. They couldn’t memorise chapter books. I started teaching them at age two. I made up games with the alphabet and then sounds. Then built on the sounds to make words. I read to them constantly. Even waiting at bus stops or in queues we’d read the signs together. I really don’t care if you believe me or not. Young children are very quick at picking things up. You teach them and they’ll learn. Reading is extremely important. And I think it’s extremely important to read to your kids often from a very young age.

REPLY
10 months ago
Oh and by the way, my eldest walked at 10 months, second child at 12 months and third child at 13 months. Honestly can’t remember when they first smiled. Just because you’re children aren’t at the same level as mine doesn’t mean I’m lying. Maybe I touched a nerve because you’re feeling inadequate.

REPLY
10 months ago
A girl in my kids pre -kindy class ( 3 year olds ) could read. Kids were being read a book with the alphabet and pictured an animal that started with that letter. Letter A was alligator but the kids said crocodile except for this girl who got it right. This happened a few times then a picture of a lizard was shown. The kids said lizard but this girl said Iguana. The parents said how did she know that word and the mum said she can read. The teacher gave her a book and she read it to the class. Amazing.

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10 months ago
^ Why are you ladies turning this into a dick measuring competition? Yeesh

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10 months ago
Let’s keep in mind a few things here. Reading to your child every night does not guarantee they are going to be advanced readers. No one can deny the benefits of reading. But all children learn at their own pace. My son, who has ASD knew the alphabet by the age of 3. But he has always been behind in reading despite us reading every night. And he’s 10 now.

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10 months ago
It’s not a competition. One lady said her kids could read at age three and she believed it was because of her reading to them and said reading was important. Then two people called her a liar. I know several kids who could all read by age 3. Yes, kids all learn at their own pace but you can’t call someone a liar just because their kid can do what your kid can’t.

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10 months ago
LMAO at the your kids arent the same level as mine comment. Um, how old are your kids exactly? Because mine are high school and have skipped grades and still ahead of their class so I wouldnt count your chickens on that one. What younger kids do doesnt always carry through if they have been hothoused.

REPLY
10 months ago
One is at uni, one year 12, one year 10. All were/are in academic extension classes learning above their year levels. Still doing brilliantly and I believe their early reading skills helped them. Laugh all you want.

REPLY
10 months ago
Well this has been entertaining....

REPLY
10 months ago
Can anyone say liar. Why would you say your kids are ahead of mine because they can read at 3 and suddenly they are uni age. Yeah right.

REPLY
10 months ago
and where did anyone say they didnt read to their kids. Nobody said that, just they think you're a little bit full of it with how you think your kids are smarter than others. Its not reality.

REPLY
10 months ago
New commenter here. Its definitely possible for kids to read at 3. I know several and my dd was one of them. However, even though she could read, she had absolutely no comprehension of what she was reading. They were just words and i reckon its the same for any early reader

REPLY
10 months ago
I said at age 3 they COULD read, not CAN read. And then I was asked how old they were now. They are much older now. I’m trying to get the point across that I believe reading to kids at an early age is great for their learning in general. My kids are smart, you can’t make me feel bad for saying that. I believe their early reading helped them do well at school.

REPLY
10 months ago
Nobody is trying to make you feel bad but you tried to make others feel bad with false assumptions that they dont read to their kids and that their kids are behind yours.

REPLY
10 months ago
I didn’t try to make others feel bad. I’m angry at two people who called me a liar. I don’t know if they read to their kids or not, don’t really care, but they can’t call me a liar when they don’t know me or my children. They don’t believe it’s true simply because they don’t know any three year old who can read. I bet they’re the same people who call “bullshit” on every post they don’t believe.

ANSWER
10 months ago
It seems you are in the minority OP

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REPLY
10 months ago
Yes it does! I wasn't looking for the amazing parents who did read all the time, nor to be berated for being honest! It was a search for answers and advice. Wasn't expecting the vitriol in the conversation, though now it is making me think maybe this is why parents are so afraid to reach out to find solutions!

REPLY
10 months ago
Yes true OP

ANSWER
10 months ago
It’s my favourite time of the day with my son. He’s so snuggly and we enjoy the closeness and sharing the stories. Everything else can wait... nothing is more important than that special time with him with no distractions

ANSWER
10 months ago
I read to my kids when they want me to, but sometimes i give up between the constant trying to turn pages or talk over me or try to do something else. They seem disinterested after a minute or two.

ANSWER
10 months ago
We did but now they read by themselves and I have to say I'm glad. I hate reading. They now have 30 mins of reading time in their beds and they love it. So do I haha. Call me a bad mum all you like I hate reading books.

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REPLY
10 months ago
You’re not a bad mum. You started their love of reading and now they can do it themselves. That’s awesome.

REPLY
10 months ago
Yes they love to read quietly in their rooms. We have books on-top of books for them. Me? I still hate reading. My mind wonders haha

ANSWER
10 months ago
If you have time for social media you have time for reading books with your children.

Enough of the selfish parenting ladies!!!!!

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REPLY
10 months ago
Agreed

REPLY
10 months ago
Amen!

REPLY
10 months ago
I read to my kids so no lazy here, but that is not necessarily true. People could be doing social media in their lunch break or on the train on the way home from work.

REPLY
10 months ago
^ but we know that’s not really the case.

REPLY
10 months ago
^ And you don't know this for a fact

REPLY
10 months ago
Oh I know alright.

REPLY
10 months ago
Saying people on social media might be at lunch ect is like saying fat people might have a medical reason....
Well yeah 1% might but it’s not the case majority of the time lol.

REPLY
10 months ago
Pretty sure the majority of workers take lunch?

ANSWER
10 months ago
I'll answer the question rather than give an opinion on anyone's parenting, because, frankly, I'm imperfect in so many ways I refuse to judge & we're all exhausted atm.

Do I? Not every night, but most. Does it make a difference? Yes. It's about extending vocabulary and literacy.

Most important is teaching your kids the importance of lifelong learning, rather than just reading to them. If a parent doesn't show interest, the child doesn't see why they should either. There are studies that back this up, but I see the the difference between my kids and a friend's. Same ages, primary school & kindy. Mine are advanced or on par. Hers are in remedial classes and way behind, because 'education is the school's problem'. It bugs me because she ranted about the school failing her children, but she won't engage at all with her kids learning. Teachers can't teach successfully without parents' support.

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REPLY
10 months ago
Absolutely spot on.

ANSWER
10 months ago
Ugh these threads always bring out the judgemental and the sanctimonious 🙄

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REPLY
10 months ago
I apologise! I seem to have created a monster! Was just looking for advice, not judgement! Where does that come from?

REPLY
10 months ago
^you don’t need to apologise. It’s the responders who post rude and unhelpful responses that should. These kinds of threaded bring them out though.

ANSWER
10 months ago
Lazy, convenience, selfishness etc etc

ANSWER
10 months ago
Some nights I read and some I don't. I don't if my kids are too tired that night.

ANSWER
10 months ago
We have always read at night before bed and continue to read even now (9 years old). He is perfectly capable of reading on his own - he is on the last Harry Potter novel but he loves his bedtime story. It’s important to model fluent reading, expression and intonation when reading. It’s great wind down time before bed

I get there are people who don’t enjoy reading. Have you tried just looking at picture books? Don’t read the story, just look at the pictures and talk about what’s going on in them what can you see? What do you think is happening? What do you think will happen next? The Graeme Base books are great for this.

Reading to your child isn’t just about “reading”, it about getting them to understand the story , what’s happened and why. What will happen. Teachers can tell which children are read to regularly and which aren’t. Those that aren’t read to really do struggle.

It really is worth the investment in time. Maybe not every night but try for 2-3 times a week and build up from there.

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REPLY
10 months ago
Excellent response, I totally agree.

ANSWER
10 months ago
I used to but since home readers my kids read to me or each other

ANSWER
10 months ago
It's also about spending some quality time with your kids. Time when you're not screaming at them to stop jumping on the couch or or bribing them to eat their vegetables.

ANSWER
10 months ago
We read 30 minutes each night it just becomes routine

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REPLY
10 months ago
Which we love BUT if u dont want to read to or with your child its ur choice.

REPLY
10 months ago
^ Albeit a bad choice

ANSWER
10 months ago
Read to the kids from infanthood. As they go older we would take it in turns to read a page each. Some nights it would only be 2 pages in total. Others it would be a chapter. We got through all the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games series, Lord of the Rings books, and classics such as Treasure Island, Alice in Wonderland, and the Baby Sitter's Club.

ANSWER
10 months ago
Reading doesn’t have to be extensive. 5 minutes. When you have more time then take more time. Some nights there is just no time and I get that. Some nights your frazzled and you give it a miss. You should definitely try and make time most of the week.

ANSWER
10 months ago
I always have time to read at night. We choose our needs over our wants. We are all different though- I’m sure you do other things!

ANSWER
10 months ago
I read minimum 3 books every night to my kids, im a sole parent (no weekend dad, i work and study) and it’s something i love to do. My kids go down to sleep so much easier after a story too, so the 15 min it takes is well worth it. Find it strange to think anyone could be busier then me lol! Im literally doings everything for 3 kids on my own.. No judgement though, we all have something we just cant be arsed with.

ANSWER
10 months ago
Laziness

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REPLY
10 months ago
Some parents hate reading

REPLY
10 months ago
How could anyone hate reading. Do you just not read very well?

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10 months ago
So what if the parents hate reading. It's not about you. It's about your kids

ANSWER
10 months ago
Do any of the OGs remember the last time this subject was brought up and it caused a major shit fight? 😂

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REPLY
10 months ago
Yeah, but not as much as the "do you use a dryer" shit on dls way back when 😂
Does this make you feel old too?

REPLY
10 months ago
I just thought the same. Ive noticed a few old topics popping up again all at the same time.

REPLY
10 months ago
Or maybe we are just mummas with the same things on our minds lol

ANSWER
10 months ago
My older kids are independent readers, I read to my toddler most days. On the days I don't its because there are too many other things, one of those nights is when I work and then I have to take my other kids to their sports so he usually falls asleep in the car and doesn't get a story on that night. But that's one night out of 6 so Im not too stressed about it.

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REPLY
10 months ago
ETA- they also get read to at childcare anyway

ANSWER
10 months ago
We read 2 books most nights. They aren't long books though, only 5-10 minutes total. And if I'm really tired I'll do the choosing and pick extra short ones.

ANSWER
10 months ago
My son always gets read to before bed. If you're pick a small book with only a few pages. It's not hard.

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REPLY
10 months ago
*tired

ANSWER
10 months ago
You’re lazy. You only need to read for five minutes. Make the time.

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REPLY
10 months ago
Sorry if that sounded harsh. But I think some parents just make excuses. It’s important so parents need to make the time.

REPLY
10 months ago
Not harsh at all! I am just trying to work out what it is that stops us reading every single night. I hadn't thought of 'lazy' so appreciate your candid reply!

ANSWER
10 months ago
Always read to my kids

ANSWER
10 months ago
We have always read every night. I have read to my twins since they were about 6 months old. Funny hard cover books as they started to talk. They have always had a shit load of books they can flick through and no fucks given if they got damaged, although they were told to be careful they never ever got told off.
Now at 8 they read chapter books , Tom gates are hilarious.
They have always been ahead of reading at school.
I believe it has helped them heaps.