Parents know how to inspire a love of books in babies and toddlers, but as kids get older and go to school, reading can be seen as work rather than fun — and kids, especially teens, may stop reading for pleasure.
Here are few tips that can help parents to become a reading role model that their child needs.
1. KEEP THINGS REAL
Make explicit connections between your child’s ability to read and her future options in life. If your child is thinking about college or a career path, have open, honest discussions about the ways reading might be necessary for her success. Just be careful to discuss, not preach. Encourage your child to brainstorm with you and to generate some of the ideas you discuss.
2. LET THEM CHOOSE
The best way to encourage your child to read is to allow them to read whatever they find engaging, whether it’s comic books, cookbooks or romance novels about vampires or zombies. The books they are drawn to might not be your favourites but don’t discourage their preferences. Reading is reading. Avoid any urge to censor her choices.
3. MERGE MOVIES WITH BOOKS
Hollywood is turning to teen lit for ideas more than ever. Offer your child the print version to read before or after a big film adaptation comes out, and talk about the similarities and differences between the two. Check out our list of Books to Read Before They’re Movies in 2016.
4. MODEL READING
The best way to create a culture of reading in your home is to read as much as possible. Read at home where your teens can see you. Talk about what you’re reading, and express your enjoyment. Always take a book or magazine along when you go to the beach or face waiting in a long line. Send your teen the message that reading is a pleasure, not a chore. The more your child sees you reading, the more likely they will follow suit. This doesn’t change once your child enters high school. Teens are even more resistant to any message that implies do as I say, not as I do.
5. TIE READING TO SOCIAL MEDIA
If your child likes texting friends and posting on social networks, you can give them mini-assignments that use those interests. For example, encourage them to start following a blog and to read interesting posts aloud to you occasionally. Or you could ask them to be on the lookout for interesting abbreviations people use in texts and get them to make a cheat sheet or to quiz you on what these abbreviations stand for.
6. KEEP READING MATERIAL AROUND
Kids who grow up with lots of books around tend to read more. Stock the bathroom, car, dining table — wherever there’s a captive audience — with comic books, graphic novels, and magazines geared to your teens’ interests; first books in hit young adult series; or classic sci-fi and mysteries.
7. LEVERAGE THEIR INTEREST IN CURRENT EVENTS
Highlight the ways that your high-schooler can use reading to keep tabs on what’s happening in her world. Encourage your child to pick up a newspaper or subscribe to a magazine. For teens with learning and attention issues, reading might seem frustrating or boring. But if your child is interested in sports, politics, celebrities, music, you name it, there will always be something they might want to read!
Please leave a like and comment with other useful tips.