Parenting Confession: I HATE STORY TIME.

Well…let me clarify.

I love story time…as long as it’s done in under 10 minutes. I love a good Sandra Boynton book or even Dr. Seuss. I’ve read about Mice and Cookies and Cats and Muffins – NO PROBLEM. We love Wild Things and Hungry Caterpillars. But now that Nikki has grown out of those books, she tends to read on her own.

I JUST GET BORED. And sleepy.

You give me a book longer than 10 minutes, especially if there’s no way to liven it up with dancing or silly voices, then I get BORED. And often I start yawning and falling asleep. I just kinda hate reading chapter books to the kids. I KNOW. So many people I know have read Harry Potter to their kids and while I think in theory this sounds so cool? In actuality? IT SOUNDS LIKE HELL. And yes…I’m aware this makes me an awful parent.

Now…bring in Chris Colfer.

We all know he’s always been the thing keeping me watching Glee. I just adore him on the show and in ever interview I’ve ever seen him do EVER. When I heard he was writing a kid’s book I was sold before it even had a title. As the details came out about it, I realized it would probably be one of those perfect Bedtime Story type books: aimed for ages 8-12, about kids falling into a book of fairytales, the beginning of a series of books. In other words? I started hating the book. BAH. Don’t make me read long stories to the kids. I CAN’T DEAL WITH STORY TIME.

The Land Of Stories came out last week and let me tell you: I AM A CHANGED WOMAN.

We’ve been reading one chapter every night and it turns out? I love story time! I think a lot of why I’m loving it is that – so far – the most recent chapters all end as a type of cliffhanger. AND NIKKI LOVES IT. It’s so hysterical! One chapter ended with the kid’s book glowing and she screamed, “NOOOOOOooooooo!!!” Last night? Was when one of the kids fell into the book. (That’s not a spoiler, it’s in the book description.) She screamed, “NOT AGAIN!” It was hysterical. And the story is good…the kid’s have great personalities and they’re fun to animate. The chapters are just long enough that I don’t start falling asleep reading out loud (WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN TO ME?) – but long enough to warrant a sufficient story time.

Now…will I still hate story time when it last longer than 10 minutes and doesn’t involve pictures? Probably as a whole – yes. But will I totally finish The Land Of Stories in one-chapter sessions with the kids? YES. DEFINITELY. I’m trying my best not to read ahead of the kids but it’s hard because I’m kinda dying to know what happens next.

But I will STAY STRONG and maybe regain some of my parenting story time cred.

6 thoughts on “Parenting Confession: I HATE STORY TIME.”

  1. As a devoted lover of all things books, I always thought I’d be that mom who looooooved storytime and reading to her kids. Well. Um. Yeah. Turns out, not so much. Possibly because my daughter insists on reading the same three books over and over (and they happen to be my LEAST favorite ones, of course), possibly just because I, too, find myself drifting off while reading out loud. So – you’re not alone! (And I’ll have to check out this book when my daughter gets out of her only-these-books-are-acceptable phase… please let that be soon!)

  2. My best friend is British. He lives with his kids in the US however and when his 6 year old son had stated he was interested in Harry Potter he was very excited to read a chapter a night at bedtime. However, with Harry Potter books not all chapters are the right length to read in one sitting to an ADHD kid that is easily distracted and while he will read and enjoys the stories he still feels very strongly that reading is boring. But my friend feels it’s one of the few ways he can share some of his Brit culture with his son by explaining all the things that Harry mentions that we call different things here in the states. (There have been a few misunderstandings when they visit the UK, most noticeably being told there would be “pudding” after dinner an it was in fact just some random dessert rather than actual pudding.) And so now about two years of this reading at night has passed and they watch the movie together as they complete the book. And there is also a discussion whether the boy who is now almost 8 can handle the increasingly mature subject matter in both the books and the movies. So far he’s been ok without too much of a bad dream problem.

    I would suggest when/if you do read it to the kids you be willing to cut the story short (if possible at a good stopping point other than a chapter break), and that may help keep them from being too figity and stop you from falling asleep. Also have you tried reading those sorts of stories during the day when you aren’t exhausted and stick to the shorter stories for the bedtime routines? Also if Nikki is reading herself maybe alternating pages would help so that she reads one page and you read the next and when Wes gets to the right level he can jump in and read too. That is how I read Diary of a Wimpy Kid with the almost 8 year old and his 10 year old sister.

    Just some thoughts:)

  3. I used to fall asleep while reading to my boys too! (how does that happen??) Now they are 16 and 13 and I love sharing books with the older one and recommending books to the younger one, I totally know their specific taste in books and 9 times out of 10 (OK, 8 out of 10) I can pick a book for them that they really like!

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