Parent Sanity – How to be a parent and keep your sanity

What I have learned so far…

Encouraging Teens to Read

on December 7, 2012

Lia Reading

Most parents read a bedtime story to their children during the toddler and early years. It is part of the regular nightly routine, and helps with the transition from active play to quiet, restful time. It also provides an opportunity to snuggle and allows parents an escape from the pressures of the day into the land of make-believe and Dr. Seuss.

As kids transition from pre-school to school age, parents go from reading to their children, to reading with them. I have a wonderful memory of Becca, 5 years old,  standing over Chrissy in her crib, reading The Foot Book by Dr Seuss, a favourite at the time.

In elementary school, we continue to encourage our kids to read and help them fill out their scholastic book orders. We spend time reviewing their book report choices and continually help expand their reading interests.

But what happens when they reach the teen years? We seem to think our jobs are done. Far from it.

Too often teens would rather watch TV, play video games or spend time on their electronics than read. Reading stimulates the brain and increases concentration levels. Even fifteen minutes a day will make a difference and establish a lifetime of good reading habits. The key is to make reading enjoyable and not be seen as a chore.

Here are 5 tips to encourage your teens to read:

  1. What interests them? Talk to them about their interests and then visit the bookstore together.
  2. Don’t worry about what material they are reading – Novels, newspapers, comics, online journals are all good.
  3. Set a good example. Let them witness you reading in your spare time.
  4. Buy an audio book that is part of a series. After they listen to the first book, buy them the second one to read.
  5. Get them a subscription to a magazine that interests them.

Check out this great resource for teen book lists

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4 responses to “Encouraging Teens to Read

  1. I completely agree with this writer. While I wouldn’t force teens to read (at home) her suggestions to encourage reading are excellent. At the same time parents have to set limits on some activities teens engage in — time spent online, Tweeting, etc. Parents must be active in the lives of their teenage children while also giving them the space their teen years demand.

    • Deb Fraleigh says:

      Thank you Barry. It is an honour to receive a comment from you. Your Shamra Chronicles is a wonderful teen series that is especially appealing due to the strong female characters you write about. Having raised all girls, I appreciate the messages of strength and leadership!

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