Google+ Reading Teen: WHY is it Important to Have Your Teen Reading? ...according to Amy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

WHY is it Important to Have Your Teen Reading? ...according to Amy!

"Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly." 
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

My boys Austin and Andrew
As I sit here typing this post I look up and see all my children reading. It really puts a smile on my face to know they are in a different world experiencing adventure, mystery, humor, fantasy, a broken heart, love...

To read or not to read? Well, in our home my teens know the answer to that question. They do not have an option. However, I never want their love of reading to fizzle out just because my husband and I require them to read. So far we've been lucky, I think it is very important that your child gets to pick their poison. Austin is all about dragons and Harry Potter. Abigaile likes chick-lit Sarah Dessen books and Andrew loves The Series of Unfortunate Events. 

Reading as a teen leads to  great success in everyday life. Not only does reading help teens do well in school but in all aspects in general. I know reading helps my children have conversations with adults without any trouble. While their nose is pressed deep into a book, they gain better knowledge about people and the world around them. There are a ton of different authors and styles of writing out there in the YA genre. The vast options to choose from right now in the teen section in the library or book store, is crazy cool. Teens today are blessed, I wish I had such a massive selection of reading material in my library when I was that age, I might would have read more. The more variety teens read, the stronger their confidence becomes in their writing and speaking skills. Reading can show your teen that maybe they are not alone in what they are feeling at the time. I can think of many things teens often do when they are bored... drugs, sex and alcohol, just to name a few. Keeping your teen busy with books will definitely pay off in the end or at least keep them out of the trouble. Showing teens that everyone (including other teens in books) have problems or obstacles in his/her life may help your teen find solutions to solving their own problems. I ask my kids all the time what they learned from the book they have just read, I like to stay on top of what they are reading.

When teens read more than just what is given to them in the classroom, it is widely known that they do pretty well in school and other areas. All that extra reading totally broadens their vocabulary and their imagination. Teens who read more gain skills in knowing how to handle difficult situations. Ideas. Notions. The more teens read, the more they learn, it's that simple! Reading leads to awareness, that is useful in a wide variety of obstacles throughout life. For example, the teen who reads Holly Cupala's book Tell Me A Secret  has a better understanding of what happens to a teenage girl who gets pregnant at a young age. (Andye's Review)

I really want my teens to have a passion for reading as much as I do. I can tell you, the joy of reading does fade in and out from time to time on both me and my teens part. But as soon as one of us reads a great book and we start discussing it together as a family, the quest is back on... to find that really good book that will give us another exciting journey.

Parents DO your part by encouraging your teens to stay motivated to read by expressing interest in what they are reading and discussing it as a family around the dinner table. Do an activity that incorporates the book that they are reading at the time in everyday life. Example > If they are reading Harry Potter, sit down and whittle a wand from sticks you find in the backyard. You are tying strings (bonding) with your teen like you wouldn't believe. And please, do whats right for your teen... don't hesitate to make it a requirement in your home. They will thank you later on in life!

He held up the book then. "I'm reading it to you for relax." 

"Has it got any sports in it?"

"Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautiful ladies. Snakes. Spiders... Pain. Death. Brave men. Cowardly men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions. Miracles."

"Sounds okay," I said, and I kind of close my eyes.

-William Goldman, The Princess Bride 

How Parents Can Encourage Their Kids To Read

RIF Parent Guide Brochure ~ Please GO and read the original article, it's a very good site full of useful info. I wanted to post this article I found off the Reading Is Fundamental website because I really liked the ideas.

You know that reading is important, and you obviously want to make sure that your teenager grows into adulthood with all the skills he or she needs to succeed. The following is a list of ways that to encourage your teens to read.

1. Set an example. Let your kids see you reading for pleasure.

2. Furnish your home with a variety of reading materials. Leave books, magazines, and newspapers around. Check to see what disappears for a clue to what interests your teenager.

3. Give teens an opportunity to choose their own books. When you and your teen are out together, browse in a bookstore or library. Go your separate ways and make your own selections. A bookstore gift certificate is a nice way of saying, "You choose".

4. Build on your teens interests. Look for books and articles that feature their favorite sports teams, rock stars, hobbies, or TV shows. Give a gift subscription to a special interest magazine.

5. View pleasure reading as a value in itself. Almost anything your youngsters read--including the Sunday comics--helps build reading skills.

6. Read some books written for teens. Young adult novels can give you valuable insights into the concerns and pressures felt by teenagers. You may find that these books provide a neutral ground on which to talk about sensitive subjects.

7. Make reading aloud a natural part of family life. Share an article you clipped from the paper, a poem, a letter, or a random page from an encyclopedia--without turning it into a lesson.

8. Acknowledge your teens mature interests. Look for ways to acknowledge the emerging adult in your teens by suggesting some adult reading you think they can handle.

9. Keep the big picture in mind. For all sorts of reasons, some teenagers go through periods without showing much interest in reading. Don't panic! Time, and a few tips from this brochure, may help rekindle their interest.


  1. I have a 13yr old , who doesn't like to read , but I did find one book he will read no matter what so right now I run with it - Diary of the Wimpy Kid. I am so happy when he does read these I will buy each book that comes out just to keep him interested. Another other suggestions , I think big books intimidate him?

  2. I meant to say any other suggestions that might keep him reading?

  3. This is a great post! I'm in college and don't have kids, but I really think this might help the people who do!

  4. My baby girl reads (well ok, she's 17 but still my baby girl =) I bought books for her when all she could do was gum them lol...

    I have been trying to read all the books she has to read for school and it's been pretty cool to discuss them together...Brave New World, The Scarlet Letter (I admit it, we were both bored to tears with that one lol)

    We share some "funner" reads too...Before I Fall and The Hunger Games were two of our faves.
    SOOOOOOO happy she's a reader, I would have been crushed if she wasn't!!

  5. Wonderful you posted this article.
    Me myself is in the opposite world. I have always been the only person in my family who reads. and of all my friends. And they have always laugh at me when they discover I always have a book with me. No matter where I am going.

    But hopefully when I get kids. I hope they will get into reading like I did. Because it has given me so much. And I am so glad I didn´t stop reading, even though everyone calls me a nerd etc.

    Keep up the good work :D
    Maybe I need these tips in the future :P But hoping it will just come by itself. That the reading thing is so powerful in my genes xD

  6. I really love that you did this post. I do think though that you shouldn't force someone to read, as much as books are a gift to us, encouraging is fine but forcing your child is probably pushing it. You made some good points where you mention how some books can be very insightful regarding real life situations.

    I wouldn't describe her as promiscuous though, she didn't exactly sleep around with a lot of guys. Great thoughtful review though. :)

  7. Lol, love the pic of the kids reading, it reminds me of myself when I read, completely unaware of the surroundings ^^ making faces and all without realizing it xD Nice post, btw ^^

  8. I liked several teen books written by Todd Strasser: "You Can't Get There" From Here about homeless teens, "If I Grow Up" about gangs and "Boot Camp" about juvenile "jail." I'm currently reading a teen book about two seniors from different cultures who discover they aren't so different after all in "Perfect Chemistry."

  9. @BlueIceGirl Andye read the book and it was just a good reference at the time I was writing this post. Maybe promiscuous was too strong of a word. *point taken

    Forcing my children too read is the same thing as forcing them to go outside and get exercise instead of playing video games all day. IMO.

    I homeschool and they write reviews for this blog. I'm sure you've read and enjoyed some of them. I really use the must-read-rule for book reviews as a school requirement. (same as required reading and book reports in school)

  10. @BLHmistress try "Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World" by Vordak T. Incomprehensible It is a great book for boys that don't like to read. Also Big Nate.

  11. I think it's fantastic if they genuinely have really taken to reading. Yes I have read some of their reviews and It's refreshing and quite endearing seeing a family come together and do something they enjoy. I guess looking back it would have been nice to have someone in the family who reads but alas twas not meant to be :D

    Yes I watched her vlog I found it incredibly touching, it was very sweet of her to share her own personal experience, her concern was that perhaps those who hadn't been in such a situation wouldn't be able to relate. She'll be glad to know that was never the case. I think as a book reader being open minded is always essential so there was never an issue, I found it interesting but sad if anything else.

  12. Nice post, Amy! Much of my passion for reading comes from my mom who had a shelf full of books while I was growing up. But I think the schools must have a role in it too by having a library and incorporating books written for teens, not only the classics.

  13. Such a cute post. I remember when my dad used to take me to the library and thats how it all started. but he hates reading( unless you count newspaper) but he still encouraged me to read.


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