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to stop reading to my daughter every night?

(135 Posts)
stoopstofolly Fri 13-Sep-13 10:08:05

My DD is 8 years old (yr 3). She has had a bedtime story every night since she was about 6 months old. It has been lovely- a really nice experience for both of us.
At present I give my DS (3) a bath, do his story, then DD has a bath and her story. However, she now wants to start going to bed a bit later (currently she's in bed by about 7.30, story until 7.45, can read on her own until 8.15).
Now, my DH and I both work full time. He commutes, and only gets back about 8.00 ish, which leaves me doing 2 DC's dinner, bath and bed every evening, on my own. At present, after DD's story I start cooking our dinner, and we eat about 8.30. I then manage about an hour of TV/reading before collapsing in a heap and going to bed.
I understand that DD would like to stay up later, and she's only asking for another 15-30 mins BUT if she does this, am I unreasonable to say that she can't have me reading a story to her as well? She's a very good independent reader, and I've said that myself/DH will still read to her at weekends, just not in the week.
Apparently this makes me the worst mother in the world, and is proof that I like DS more "because HE'S still getting a story".
I was holding firm, but then a read an article in the paper about how children benefit for being read to even as they get older, and I'm feeling guilty. What age did you all stop reading to your DC?

BoozyBear Fri 13-Sep-13 10:11:15

yabu. It 10-15 minutes time for just you and DD to have time together.

I will stop reading when they tell me they dont want me to do it anymore. I love sharing books with my kids.

Retropear Fri 13-Sep-13 10:13:50

Yabu,mine are 9,9 and 8 and still get a chapter a night.A 3 year old is no more deserving than an 8 year old.There are huge advantages to reading to older children.

BuskersCat Fri 13-Sep-13 10:13:58

I'll probably stop reading to dd when she is a confident free reader, so around 7 or 8 I'd say. she can't pull the 'you prefer the 3yo more because she's had an extra 5 years with you that he hasn't

gazzalw Fri 13-Sep-13 10:15:12

We're still reading to DD and she's the same age as your DD! As she's our youngest fully expect that bedtime stories aren't about to outrun their course anytime soon! It does cut short one's evening but that's off-set by having a lovely one-to-one session with one's DC - we love rereading all the classics from our own childhood and some modern ones too!

plummyjam Fri 13-Sep-13 10:15:13

I don't have children your age but growing up I was one of 5 children and didn't get read a bedtime story - my mum had no time with 3 older kids and a baby. She did read a lot to us when we were pre-school at home though. I think I was reading in bed myself from age 5 or 6, something I still do now.

If I were you I'd just leave her to read independently now. And not feel in the slightest bit guilty about it! smile

Would she read to the little one?

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 10:15:19

if she wants it I would keep doing it. she will stop wanting it eventually so don't worry about it going on forever- it wont and then one day you'll be sad because you're baby is to big for stories grin

my ds is 8 and just wants to read to himself now. every now and again he'll ask me to read some to him and I love it. ds2 is 4 and I read every night to him. again, I live those 10/15 minutes at the end of their day.

PeterParkerSays Fri 13-Sep-13 10:15:39

YABU - her listening to you means that she can hear books with more complicated vocabulary which she couldn't yet read for herself. She can have books that she reads whilst you're giving DS his bath, and books that you red to her.

Could your husband have a main meal at work and a snack in the evening when he gets home, to give you some time for this?

MadamNoo Fri 13-Sep-13 10:16:32

sorry to say this but I am still reading to my 10 year old every night after reading to my 5 and 8 yos separately. Often on my own, and I'm lucky if I get downstairs before 9. It does seems crazy and I have almost no evening left but I can't see how to get out of it because he would be outraged if I didn't read with him any more (obviously he reads to hmself too, a lot). But I eat with the kids at 6, dh works shifts so he is either not back til 9 and eats alone, or home to eat early with us.
can't you carry on reading to your dd at the same time, though, and just let her read longer on her own?

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 10:17:46

and also- if you do stop when she doesn't want to you run the risk of creating a negative association with reading for her which would be horrible IMO.

QueenofKelsingra Fri 13-Sep-13 10:18:20

yabu i'm afraid. it is so important for them, never mind that it will clearly seem like favouritism if you keep doing it for your youngest.

I know it is hard to do the dinner/bath/story/bed for multiple kids (I have 3 to do it for) but it is so so important. it is only another 15 mins or so.

I will not stop reading to mine until they tell me they don't want stories anymore.

when you say she wants to stay up later what about a compromise of not during the week but she can stay up later at weekends?

Edendance Fri 13-Sep-13 10:18:27

I think it's unreasonable for you to do this- bedtimes will change as children get older but she still deserves 1:1 time with you or your husband, even if you don't find it convenient.

To have that time with her every night will encourage good communication between you, and that's so vital.

Yabu, she's only 8! Poor girl just wants to feel important and have her own time with just you- it's hardly much to ask.

MotherofBear Fri 13-Sep-13 10:20:15

Can you compromise at all and read to her downstairs before her bath? She gets to stay up later and she gets her story.

Your older self will say YABU to stop before your dd asks to stop!

I would continue to read to her as always but let her stay up for a further 15 minutes afterwards. She could carry on reading, or you could change the routine a little so that she gets into PJs and cleans teeth after her story time.

castlesintheair Fri 13-Sep-13 10:23:06

I think you should keep reading to her. I still read to my 9 and 6 year olds and DS who is nearly 12 usually hangs around listening as well. I'm lucky if DH and I get to eat at 9.30pm after all the pfaffing about. It gets harder to have an "evening" as they get older.

PeacockPlumage Fri 13-Sep-13 10:24:27

I will only stop reading to dcs at bedtime when they beg me to!

Can't you save the extra time elsewhere? Bath every other night? Bath together? Read stories together with ds. Cooking seperate meals for dcs and adults is a big strain too, batch cook or slow cooker and have the same food in separate sittings.

The fact that dd is asking you to carry on and is upset at giving up would be enough for me to prioritise it.

Or could your dh read to her when he gets home?

PolterGoose Fri 13-Sep-13 10:26:03

Ds is 10 and a very able reader but dp reads to him every night for half an hour. It means he can access books that he is too lazy to read for himself, or which have more grown up issues which they discuss. Ds gets read to between 7 and 7.30 then does writing his diary, drawing and reading and self regulates lights out, so we get our evenings and ds feels more grown up as he's in control.

How about your dd reads to your ds while you have a break and then you can read to dd? This way dd gets to practice reading out loud and she still gets read to.

ReallyTired Fri 13-Sep-13 10:26:03

I think that its mistake to stop reading to a child just because they can read. I still read to my son inspite of the fact that he is eleven. I read a bit of his book and then he reads to himself afterwards. I doesn't take that long to read four or five pages of a proper book.

Reading books to children improves reading comprehension as they can enjoy a more challenging book read by a parent than what they can read.

Another solution is to get her to read to her three year old brother in return for getting a story from mummy.

HavantGuard Fri 13-Sep-13 10:26:05

Why not ask your DH to cook.

imip Fri 13-Sep-13 10:27:33

When I had a just five year old, a three year old, a 1yo and a new born, reading in the evening went out the window for a good 18 months. I still read to dd1 in the mornings, and I hear her read for school twice a week (chapter books, they take FOREVER). I've just started reading dd1 and 2 a chapter a night again and they both really enjoy it). I really feel for dd2 as she is a late riser and I really struggled to read to her with timings. I hasn't affected her ability to read now that she is in yr1 and I expect that she will be an independent ish reader by year end as dd1 was (summer baby). I guess the reading doesn't have to come at night time, I think weekend would be fine, or mornings, or an audio book of her choice?

redskyatnight Fri 13-Sep-13 10:31:57

If the only problem is you don't want to stay up later then you don't have to! Just read to her earlier in the evening.

hardboiledpossum Fri 13-Sep-13 10:33:20

Yabu, i think its important to keep that time for the 2 if you

stoopstofolly Fri 13-Sep-13 10:34:24

Oh dear. It looks like I'm wrong then! I'm just so tired, and get no time at all with DH, which isn't doing our marriage any good. My mum is horrified by this, and says that by always putting the children first (ahead of self, husband, marriage etc) I'm not doing them any favours. She's threatening to buy me a book called "To raise happy kids put your marriage first"!
In all fairness, I'm home at 5.00 every night, do lots of activities with both children, plus have regular 1-1 time with both for example DD and I have a movie night together, just the two of us every Friday. She's not lacking in attention!
Not a lot DH can do- his job very pressurised and often he doesn't even manage lunch so needs a meal in the evenings. We need the money though! I've tried ready meals and ready - to - cook meals but I put on weight and didn't enjoy them.
Right then (girding loins). Back to story time......

jazzandh Fri 13-Sep-13 10:34:32

I think the bedtime story is still good at 8. My DS gets read to each night for 10/15 mins after DS2 (3) has gone to bed.

But DS1 has a shower (he sorts himself out generally) once he gets in from school, so I don't need to be involved there. Once we have had dinner, he helps tidy up downstairs and does homework etc while DS2 is put to bed. The he gets his story time and reading to himself for 15/20 minutes before he turns his lights out.

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