Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Parenting Pointers: Bedtime Story Tips

Holiday Retirement has launched a national “story drive” to collect original tales, anecdotes, and fables that have been handed down from generation to generation. The leading senior living provider invites every generation, from seniors to children, to share their stories at sharebedtimestories.com. A selection of the stories submitted will be published in an illustrated children’s book available this winter.

Because digital media have become the predominant communications platform for Americans, less time is spent telling and reading stories. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American reads only 19 minutes a day, and teenagers spend a meager 4.2 minutes a day reading. At the same time, a report from Nielsen shows that the average American adult spends 11 hours per day with digital media. Recording stories and sharing them with younger generations is vital to preserving family legacy. Without capturing family stories, oral history can be lost in three generations, according to an expert from the National Archives.
Holiday Retirement is accepting story submissions until Friday, July 17, 2015. Individuals interested in submitting a story can find tips for gathering an original story from an older adult and turning it into a publishable tale at sharebedtimestories.com. Once on sale, all book proceeds will benefit the National Center for Families Learning, a charity dedicated to helping improve family literacy.
The children’s book produced from the submissions will include a selection of the stories and also serve as a tool to help children gather their own tales from different generations. A resource found at the close of the book will offer a how-to guide to help children encourage older friends and relatives to share their stories.
I had a chance to interview Jamison Gosselin, vice president of marketing, communications, and resident enrichment for Holiday Retirement to learn more.

What contributes to the demise of bedtime stories?
Social media has revolutionized the way we receive and convey information, and digital media without a doubt has contributed to the demise of word-of-mouth communication, like bedtime stories, from one generation to the next. In fact, a recent research report revealed that the average American adult spends 11 hours per day with digital media. As kids grow more and more intrigued by iPads, movies, and video games, the number of bedtime stories read each night diminishes. Interestingly, and not too surprising, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average American reads only 19 minutes a day.

By launching this bedtime “story drive,” Holiday Retirement aims to reverse the decline in bedtime stories being told and re-ignite communication between loved ones, whether it’s between a parent and child or a grandparent and his or her grandchild. We encourage people of all ages, from seniors to children, to submit their original tales at sharebedtimestories.com.

Why are bedtime stories so important?
Bedtime stories capture imaginations, teach valuable life lessons, and enhance the relationship with those you love. At Holiday, we especially love bedtime stories that share part of a family history or experience from generations past. It is these types of stories that help preserve family legacies for future generations. Sharing bedtime stories presents the perfect opportunity for families and people of different ages and generations to connect in a valuable and meaningful way.

What are some alternative options for reading together if parents find it hard to add reading to the bedtime routine?
Bedtime stories don’t always have to include reading. Parents can talk to their child about a funny experience or a valuable life lesson learned that day or even perhaps during the parents’ childhood years. Parents can also call on family members to take 10 to 15 minutes out of their schedules to visit with their child to tell them a story, anecdote, or experience from their past. In the end, it is all about the time you spend with your loved one.

If you, your family members, or your children have an original story that you want to share with others, Holiday Retirement invites everyone to submit the story to our bedtime “story drive” at sharebedtimestories.com. For parents, this makes a great summer project with your children. Have them write down a family story or make up one of their own and submit it to the story drive, and it could be selected for a published book later this year in time for the holiday season. When parents engage their children in the creation of a bedtime story, kids will be that much more excited for bedtime.

How to submit
Visit sharebedtimestories.com to submit a story. All story submissions must be no longer than 600 words. All stories must be original; no copyrighted material will be accepted. Adults may submit stories on behalf of children under age 13. Read the rules and regulations for the terms of the campaign. Individuals whose stories are selected will be notified at the close of the campaign in July 2015. For questions about the submission process, contact sharebedtimestories@gmail.com.
About Holiday Retirement
Since 1971, Holiday Retirement has endeavored to provide its signature “Holiday Touch” to residents and their families. Today, Holiday is a trusted name in senior living and provides security, comfort, and value to independent seniors seeking a fulfilling lifestyle. Holiday operates more than 300 retirement communities, making it the second largest senior housing operator in the United States. For more information about Holiday Retirement, please call 800-322-0999 or visit www.holidaytouch.com.

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