How old do you read bedtime stories to your kids? - Mothering Forums
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The Childhood Years > How old do you read bedtime stories to your kids?
mamazee's Avatar mamazee 11:33 AM 09-05-2010
My 8-year-old said a kid at school laughed at her when she talked about the story I'd read to her at bedtime. Not about the story, but that she still has a bedtime story read to her. So apparently not all 8-year-olds are getting stories read to them. How old is the average for this stopping, and if you stopped, at what age did you stop?

(We have no plans to stop btw. My dd LOVES her bedtime story. Just curious about what other families do.)

4evermom's Avatar 4evermom 11:41 AM 09-05-2010
I'm reading the Animorphs series to my 9 yo at bed time. Possibly the other kid was thinking you are reading the same sorts of books that you read to dd when she was, oh say, 4 just because those are the books he remembers having read to him. Some people stop reading to their kids because they want the kids to practice their reading and they think not doing it for them is the right thing to do.
LaLaLaLa's Avatar LaLaLaLa 12:01 PM 09-05-2010
Oh, how sad for your daughter being made to feel bad! I hope she won't decide to stop the bedtime stories just out of peer pressure.

My kids are littler (6 and 4.5), but I plan to read to them for years and years. It's a great way to expose kids to books slightly beyond their reading level, and I love cuddling up and sharing a book with my kids.

It isn't quite the same, but when my brother was in high school he struggled with one of his English classes, so I remember my mom reading "A Tale of Two Cities" out loud to him night after night. She cried at the end. My brother was probably fourteen at the time.
treeoflife3's Avatar treeoflife3 12:07 PM 09-05-2010
I'll read to her for as long as she wants me to.

My mom stopped reading to me before I was ready for it and while we were in the middle of huckleberry finn. I still can't read the book... I kept waiting for her to be able to read to me again (at first she was busy with my little brother) but she never did and now it just annoys me trying to pick it up haha.

I think I was 8 or 9 when she cut me off.
4Marmalade's Avatar 4Marmalade 12:12 PM 09-05-2010
My ds will be 8 soon and we still read nightly to him. I don't see us stopping anytime soon. He even listens to stories that we read to his younger siblings. After we read to him, he continues to read his own book in bed until lights out.
velochic's Avatar velochic 12:17 PM 09-05-2010
Dd is 8 and we still read together. We actually all read together as a family, too. It's a wonderful way of spending time together as family. Some of the books dd wants to read, I feel more comfortable reading with her, actually, because of content (not because of ability). (This summer is was the Red Badge of Courage and she was "able" to read it, but I felt that it needed some parental monitoring of some themes, so we read it together.)

I agree that these insensitive kids making fun are probably thinking of books from young childhood. I feel sorry for them. You're never too old to be read to and I think that it's always a positive experience to read with/to your children. It also allows kids to read beyond their emotional and intellectual ability. Good for you... and too bad for the teasing children... they're the ones missing out.
mimim's Avatar mimim 12:28 PM 09-05-2010
We stopped reading at bedtime with my oldest when he was about 9, but I was homeschooling at the time so we read out loud together a lot during the day and let him use bedtime as part of his independent reading time. I still read every night with my 8yo DS and my 5yo DD when they are at my place. They are at their dad's half of the time and I don't think he reads at bedtime anymore.
A&A's Avatar A&A 12:29 PM 09-05-2010
I still read to my 8 yo. at bedtime.
Pavlovs's Avatar Pavlovs 01:12 PM 09-05-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post
I'll read to her for as long as she wants me to.

meemee's Avatar meemee 01:40 PM 09-05-2010
i stopped reading to dd when she just turned 7. mainly coz i would fall asleep. we have really busy days. something about reading would just send me to lalaland by the end of the page. i think if instead of cosleeping i was sitting up in a chair reading i probably wouldnt fall asleep so easily.

so instead i tell her stories myself. mostly family history or when she was a baby.
tbone_kneegrabber's Avatar tbone_kneegrabber 01:57 PM 09-05-2010
well I'm 28 and dp reads to me most nights at bed time. We've been together for 10 years and have read so many books this way. I think its because my mom always read to me, not always at bedtime, but other times until we didn't live together anymore.

Dp read huge sections of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows aloud to me while I was in labor with ds! (We recently listened to it again as a book on tape in the car, and it turns out I had really no idea what happened in that book!)
mimim's Avatar mimim 02:22 PM 09-05-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post
well I'm 28 and dp reads to me most nights at bed time. We've been together for 10 years and have read so many books this way.
Aww! That is so nice. I still love to be read too also. I wish I had a DP who would do this for me.
LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 03:57 PM 09-05-2010
Our kids are 9 and 6 and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. I don't think they'd let me. I know that my BIL read to his kids until they were in high school.
Attached2Elijah's Avatar Attached2Elijah 04:52 PM 09-05-2010
My almost 7 year old son reads to US at night. We all LOVE to read, including him. He does the nightly story for my husband, me and my daughter. It makes him feel big and important to read the story. I occasionally read a story to him but I want him to work on his reading skills and encourage the love of reading. We have all talked about how it's better to do our own reading because we can use our own inflection and such as we read. Soooo I rarely read to them anymore, but I think I would still if DS didn't love to do it so much.
Shannie77's Avatar Shannie77 05:19 PM 09-05-2010
I plan on reading to my 2 daughters until they are no longer interested. My mom read to me and my sister who is 2 years younger, until we were about 11 & 9. At that point my 2 youngest sisters were toddlers and needed to be read to. I used to LOVE reading with my mom even when I was older. She read us chapter books that we weren't quite ready to read on our own. Usually she would read us a couple of chapters and we would go to bed and were free to read our own books. Even now when she reads to my DD1 I love to hear her voice.
MJB's Avatar MJB 05:39 PM 09-05-2010
My boys are 7.5 and 4.5. They are both fluent readers and usually read to themselves at bedtime (or read aloud together). They sometimes ask one of us to read them a bedtime story (right now, Harry Potter) but if we don't have time or don't want to or they don't ask, then they don't get one.
limabean's Avatar limabean 06:02 PM 09-05-2010
I plan to read to my kids as long as they'll let me, hopefully long after they're fluent readers. I learned to read at a very young age, but some of my fondest memories are of my dad reading JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis to my older brother and me, and we must have been around 8 and 10 at the time -- we loved it, even though we could easily read those books ourselves.

When I student taught, I regularly read to 3rd graders and 6th graders, and they all loved it too -- it was the only time of day they were all completely silent and engaged, and it was awesome to see their big-kid faces go into that rapt, curious expression kids get when they're listening to a story.
fruitfulmomma's Avatar fruitfulmomma 06:15 PM 09-05-2010
My oldest is 10. I usually put on audio books for them to listen to at night because I am busy with the baby but he and all of the girls love to hear me read to them.
annettemarie's Avatar annettemarie 07:50 PM 09-05-2010
That's so sad that someone laughed at her. I bet that little kid doesn't have anyone who reads to them at bedtime, which is also sad.

FWIW, we plan on doing read alouds as long as we can. Heck, DH and I still read to one another sometimes. When I was in grad school, I took a children's lit class and the prof started every night reading to us. After working hard all day, it was so relaxing and peaceful.
lonegirl's Avatar lonegirl 08:21 PM 09-05-2010
Well my son is still young but I know a familiy who had story night every night and the youngest was 15 at the time Just remember kids can be cruel and will find something to pick on.
vbactivist's Avatar vbactivist 12:29 AM 09-06-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
That's so sad that someone laughed at her. I bet that little kid doesn't have anyone who reads to them at bedtime, which is also sad.

FWIW, we plan on doing read alouds as long as we can. Heck, DH and I still read to one another sometimes. When I was in grad school, I took a children's lit class and the prof started every night reading to us. After working hard all day, it was so relaxing and peaceful.

Also check out Jim Trelease's REad Aloud Handbook. So many good read alouds, and good reason's for reading aloud
EllyMayMomma's Avatar EllyMayMomma 12:48 AM 09-06-2010
So sad that she was teased over this.

I read to our kids - DD 16, DS 11, DS 7 AND DH every night. We have read all the Harry Potters, Little House, CS Lewis, Twilight, Animorphs and now a vampire love story series that has a lot of action - I edit out the 'mushy' stuff and all of them love it. We have done some of the older kids books - Nancy Drew, Trixi Belding, The Bobsey Twins, books off reading lists and, of course, the Bible. We are always looking for new series books to start. With the adult books, I read them to myself ahead of the family so I will know where to cut or edit. I can not imagine not reading to the family.

FWIW DD made 36 on her practice ACT in English and both boys score WAY advanced on reading comprehension and vocabulary.
dawncayden's Avatar dawncayden 01:28 AM 09-06-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
Also check out Jim Trelease's REad Aloud Handbook. So many good read alouds, and good reason's for reading aloud
Great book!
He says to read to your kids until they tell you to stop, which is hopefully never Or once they are well into their teens. When you read to kids out loud it helps with their reading to themselves...

I was really sad to hear that a 4 year and 7 year old siblings that live near us aren't being read to. The 7 year old says there just isn't time for that anymore, with a sigh and a 'oh well, mom and dad are busy'. She reads to her younger brother though...but it is still so sad to hear this.
SubliminalDarkness's Avatar SubliminalDarkness 01:35 AM 09-06-2010
I think I stopped reading to DS1 when he was close to 6. At that point, he could read chapter books to himself, and DS2 was super SUPER high maintenance and I couldn't ever put him down, or really even take a break from nursing. I hated to have to cut DS1 off, but I really didn't have much of a choice.
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 09:50 AM 09-06-2010
My DS1 is still young (3.5) so obviously we're still reading bedtime stories... but my dad read aloud to us at bedtime for a LONG time... I bet he didn't really stop till I was 11 or 12 and my brother was 13 or 14. Maybe not even then... but he read boks aloud - Dune, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord othe Rings, etc to us not just bedtime stories. We read each of those series at least 3x all the way through. Along with other books (The Tracker/The Search by some tracker guy... they were awesome, The Education of Little Tree, etc). Honestly, I can't wait for the boys to get old enough to really start 'following' those sorts of books so I can stop reading Dr Suess every night
cappuccinosmom's Avatar cappuccinosmom 11:12 AM 09-06-2010
My dad was still reading to us when I was 10-12. It kind of petered out due to stressful life circumstances in later years.

Now he reads to my boys and sometimes I cuddle up in the lower bunk and listen too.
kalimay's Avatar kalimay 01:15 PM 09-06-2010
I still read to my 8 year old at bedtime.
I loved this article about a father daughter reading streak.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/fashion/21GenB.html
nolonger's Avatar nolonger 05:21 PM 09-06-2010
I read to ElderSon until he was thirteen. I think I went about as long with dd, but it might have been a bit longer.
monkeysmommy's Avatar monkeysmommy 09:51 PM 09-06-2010
My dd is 8 and we have no plans to discontinue bedtime stories any time in the near future. I enjoy it myself. We are currently reading through the Little House series and we are on "The Long Winter." I read these as a child but I don't remember them so it is like enjoying them all over again. They are so educational and so stimulating for dd's pretend play. We have read aloud the whole Harry Potter series, all the Ramona books, the Narnia chronicles, and many more books that I have enjoyed. I look forward to bedtime stories as much as dd does!

My mom read to me at bedtime until I was about 10, and she enjoyed it too. The reason she stopped was by then I had so much homework that I was often still doing it when she went to bed.

In high school, I read out loud to my boyfriend. (sometimes over the phone, much to the annoyance of my parents!) It was a wonderful way to enjoy a book together. I like being really dramatic and using different voices for all the characters.
redpajama's Avatar redpajama 10:10 PM 09-06-2010
My oldest is 5.5, and I imagine we'll be reading together for a very long time. We don't read absolutely every night--if we read, what we read, and who does the reading changes night-by-night. If the kids are in bed on the early side, I read a chapter of Harry Potter to them. If not, my husband reads a story book to them. Sometimes, after I finish HP (my daughter, 3.75, never lasts for more than 10 minutes), my 5.5-year-old reads a book or two to me, depending on how late it is.

I really enjoy reading to them, and I know they love it, too. I also read to them on longer car trips, while my husband drives. (Before we had kids, I often read to *him* on long car trips, while he drove.) I can see that as the kids get older, we may share the job of "reader" with them, but I hope that we'll be reading aloud together, at least now and then, for a very, very long time.
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