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How to Get Your Teen to Read More Books

How to Get Your Teen to Read More Books

It's easier than you think.

Our kids watch us closely; they do what we do. The more interest and enthusiasm we show in reading, the better. Preteens and teens are particularly sensitive to anything that smacks of “unfairness.” (It’s not effective to direct your preteen to read a hundred pages of a novel while you binge-watch Breaking Bad from the living room couch.)

Among the most powerful predictors of whether children will be frequent readers is whether their parents are frequent readers.

Start by reading something in front of your children. It could be anything that interests you, such as a People magazine exposé, an article about your dream vacation, or the Brookstone catalog. Read two or three paragraphs out loud to your kids and talk about what you read. (Try to do this at least every other day.) You can read anywhere—over dinner or breakfast, or in the car before you turn on the engine. Leave articles, magazines, or catalogs on the table or in the car for your kids to finish reading on their own.

Here are some additional ideas:
Leverage your kids' current passions and interests. Is your son a Minecraft addict? If so, he'd probably enjoy a novel based on the video game like "Minecraft: The Island." Is your daughter a huge fan of rap music? Have her check out "The Rap Year Book", which discusses the most important rap song from each year since 1979.

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Television shows based on books can get kids reading. Google a list of TV series based on young adult books. Watch the first episode, and then encourage your kid to read the books to find out what happens. You could do this with Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Try different things until you discover what works for you and your family. After all reading is not only great for your child, but a great way for you to connect as a family.


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