What Your Kids REALLY Want at Bedtime

Jeanne Sager

goodnight moon
Photo from Amazon
If Goodnight Moon is number one in your bedtime story playbooks, you're in good company, Mom and Dad.

Turns out the Marjorie Wise Brown classic is number one in Americans' hearts.

American ADULT hearts, that is.

According to a new survey commissioned on behalf of SleepBetter.org (who has teamed up with the oh-so-hot Betty White for a bedtime story event later this month!), nearly a quarter of Americans (23 percent) say Goodnight Moon is their go-to.

It's followed by Green Eggs and Ham at 20 percent, Goldilocks and the Three Bears at 15, I'll Love You Forever at 14, Cinderella at 13, and Where the Wild Things Are at 7.

But here's where things get dicey, Mom and Dad.

It turns out a third of our kids wish we'd set aside the books at bedtime ... and tell our own stories.

I'll admit it's tough -- even as a writer, I'm so exhausted at bedtime that I prefer to disappear into a world created for me by the greats (Wise Brown, Sendak, and dePaola, among others).

The best tips I've come up with:

1. Go with what you know. A character should be named for them, and their interests should feature heavily (think a firetruck named Jack or a princess named Jill).

2. Borrow from nursery rhymes, fairy-tales, Sesame Street. Just because you're making up the story doesn't mean you can't recycle some plot lines.

3. End it on a positive note. You want your kids to sleep, not be terrified of the monsters in the closet; leave the ghost stories for camp.

Do you tell your own stories at bedtime?

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