Dindy Robinson's post: Reading For Your Teen's Lifetime, is loaded with great ideas on encouraging your teens to continue reading throughout their life.If you haven't checked it out, look into our archives to find it.
I have to admit, although I raised five children, it has to be in the child to want to read. However, as parents, we need to find alternate methods to encourage them. It's not easy to consistently supervise, educate, and be role models for our children, but if WE don't, then who?
About nine years ago, on my 40th birthday, Montreal was struck with an ice storm that had us turning to candles and flashlights and fireplaces to keep warm during that winter while the electricity was fixed. We were in the dark for five days but let me tell you those five days must have been the best 'family' time we've ever experienced.
We played games, cards, charades, told spooky camp stories all by candlelight. Amazing that we needed to have something like this to happen to realize we CAN have fun as a family. Not that we didn't, don't misunderstand, but we were doing these things everyday for five days.
I guess it must have been at that point, the kids also realized the computers, the T.V. and the cells really didn't play as much as a factor in 'fun time' as they once believed. Yes, we do depend on these technologies but I believe we depend on them way too much at times.
Think back as children, what games did we have? Wooden horses, puzzles, lots of outdoor activities. What do the children nowadays look forward to? Gaming systems, new computer games, new TV programs, text messages...
I'm not putting these things down by a long shot because I am aware we need to grow with the times but what I do know is that many parents rely on these things to occupy their children because they don't have the time to adequately spend quality time with their kids. And that's a shame.
I'm involved with several writing commitments but I prioritize my time for my family. There's nothing on this earth that can give me more pleasure when I see my little one cheering when she's beaten me yet in another boardgame. Or when my oldest kids say, "Mom, you have a minute. I need to talk to you about something." and I say, "Sure, what's up?" These little things mean more to them than you can imagine.
I know I've strayed a bit from Teen Reading but it's still in the topic of Teens and how to make a lasting relationship with your children.
Spend some time with them. They're kids only once as my dad used to say.