Story-time Suffers as Parents Feel the Squeeze

Mar 06, 2012, 08:09 ET from Munch Bunch Yoghurts

LONDON, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

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.

Further Regional Statistics Available on Request

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.

  • One in 10 parents say they read to their children less than once a fortnight
  • One in five Dads say work is the reason for not reading to their children
  • One in four (36%) of parents are likely to rely on others to read stories to their child
  • Eight out of ten UK parents describe themselves as stressed, with almost a third (30%) admitting they are more stressed now than they were 12 months ago
  • More than a quarter (28%) are experiencing stress as a result of additional pressure on household finances
  • Three quarters of parents say that these stress levels impact on their child

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 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."

Over half (51%) of mums and dads cited cuddling up and being close as what they loved most about story-time with just under half (43%) saying acting out the characters and putting on funny voices was their favourite bit. 62% of parents make up stories for their children.

For further information on entering the Munch Time story writing competition visit


Notes to editors:

  • Research was conducted in February 2012 by Onepoll. 1,000 mums and 1,000 dads, throughout the UK, with children aged 2-5 years old were polled

SOURCE Munch Bunch Yoghurts