Work is becoming the first priority for many parents, with many saying that they don't even have the time to read to their children.
New research reveals that a quarter of parents out-source story-time with their children to someone else and less than a third read to their little ones daily.
Half of the 2000 parents quizzed said they were too tired or busy to read to their children, and that work came first.
The ‘Munch Time’ survey, commissioned by Munch Bunch to launch its annual search for budding children’s authors, links the economic stress that hard-hit families are currently experiencing, with the decline of story-time in UK homes. Welsh rugby star and dad of two, Gavin Henson is helping to support the campaign.
Child psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson, who has judged the ‘Munch Time’ story writing competition for the last three years, says:
"Story time, so key to childhood development, is under threat because of the stresses and strains today's parents face. Yet, it is one of the most relaxing activities for both parent and child.
"We want to encourage mums and dads to reclaim story time as a little bubble of calm and happiness they can share with their little ones."
Rugby star and dad-of-two Gavin Henson is supporting the Munch Time campaign and encouraging anyone with a tale to tell to put pen to paper and create their own children’s stories. He said:“I love cuddling up with Ruby and Dexter for story time, although as a single working father I can relate to findings of this study. That look of amazement on their little faces when you can make the time to share stories with them is so special."
In those families where story-time is still thriving, it appears to be mothers who are doing the lion’s share of story-telling and consequently deeming themselves the more talented story-teller.
Over half of mums and dads cited cuddling up and being close as what they loved most about story-time with just under half saying acting out the characters and putting on funny voices was their favourite bit. 6