Ways to Encourage Your Teen to Read

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Do you have a teen who would rather do anything other than read? Text with their friends? Sure! Play video games? Yes! Watch YouTube videos? All day! But when it comes to reading…No way.

You’re not alone. There are tons of parents out there that are struggling to get their teens to read. But, as a parent, you probably know how important reading is to future success. Luckily, there are a few different ways you can encourage your teen to read – and here are some you can try.

  • Show Them the Connection: Showing them how reading is connected to something that’s important to them is a great way to encourage reading. Try connecting it to their passions – video games, sports, etc. Even while you’re watching television or a movie together – you can probably connect it to books in some fashion. Show them as many connections as possible!
  • Let Them Read What They Want: Yes, they may have books that they have to read for English class, but if you want to encourage a life-long love of reading – let them read what they want. Graphic novels, magazines, or anything else that grabs their interest should be encouraged.
  • Let Them See You Reading: Pick up your book and camp out on the couch so that your teen can see you reading. Your good reading habits can rub off on your teen. You might not see an immediate change, but further down the road, it can pay off.
  • Share Book Ideas With Them: Did you see a book that you think might interest them? Send them a text with the recommendation. No pressure, just a suggestion – and be sure to share why you sent it to them.
  • Discuss the Books They Read: Whether it’s a book they’re reading for pleasure or a must-read for English class, ask them about it. Discuss what they like or don’t like about what they’re reading. Ask questions about the plot and the characters. Showing a genuine interest may encourage their reading habit.
  • Bring Books and Movies Together: Would they much rather watch a movie than read a book? Try merging the two! Family movie night could be a whole lot more fun as you look for differences between the book and the movie.
  • Connect Social Media and Books: If they love social media, introduce them to some social media accounts that are all about reading. They might find book recommendations or a place to share their own thoughts. 
  • Try Audio Books: Is there something about the actual picking up of a book that makes them balk at reading? Then give them the option of audiobooks. They can put on their headphones and tune into a great story – just by listening.
  • Read Aloud to Your Teens: You probably read aloud to your kids when they were young, but more and more parents are bringing back the idea – and reading aloud to their teens. It’s a great way to spend some time as a family – and your teen can just sit and listen, or you can take turns reading.
  • Expand Your Own Reading Repertoire: Do you always read the same type of books? Are you willing to take a chance and read something new? Then ask your teen for a recommendation – and then talk about the book together. You might find you expand your own reading repertoire and find new authors you truly enjoy. 

It’s not impossible to get your teen to open a book and read – it just might take a little effort! Give some of these suggestions a try and see if you can get your teenager to spend a few minutes each day buried in a book instead of his phone. 

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