How do you get your teen to read willingly?

Lakisha - posted on 01/04/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )




My 15 Daughter hates to read. I have tried everything but nothing works.


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Sherri - posted on 01/09/2010




two words Graphic Novels or rather Anime (basically comic book versions of books)

Helen - posted on 01/09/2010




This might be an expensive solution, but kids nowadays are very tech oriented. Why not look into a Kindle, Nook or Sony? She can download books, magazines, blogs....and maybe find something that interests her enough to foster a love of reading?

Mary - posted on 01/08/2010




Let her read what interests her... it may surprise you! My oldest discovered he loved political philosophy and loved the kids series of the Left behind books, Utopia, 1984, Brave New World, etc! My middle one (who really really hated to read) found that he liked books about Ireland, the kids series of the Left Behind Books, comic books and oh my gosh... The Bible! My daughter was an amazing reader from the start and had read every single book in her school library and I had to find a way to buy more books for her... yeah every family needs a kid like this! Anyway... I let them all pick out books they wanted to read and unless I thought they were very bad for them I just let them read what they wanted. The one that hated books as a kid asked me to send him books when he was in boot camp in the military (now 20 yrs old) and asked for a Bible he could take with him. Amazing how that turned out!

Sarah - posted on 01/08/2010




My kids have specific interests. When I got books that they were really interested in they read.My oldest likes to read non-fiction books and my youngest likes a cretain kind of fantasy.

I've also done the movie thing where I wouldn't take them to see a new movie that they really wanted to see until they read the book. That was a fight but it worked

Michelle - posted on 01/08/2010




This is an area we also struggled with. I've read every night to my child from the time I was carrying her in the womb. Both my husband and I are avid readers, sitting to read a book every day. Our daughter just never got the reading bug. Teachers complained and said it was because we don't read to her or that we don't read. (Goes to show what teachers know.)

Every summer we take a camping trip (no phones, no tv's, no video games, no dvd players, no computers-ipods-mp3s, no comforts of home). We found that she would lay in her sleeping bag every night and read. So at home we started limiting "screen-time". She started reading more. And now, as a teen, she's starting to read on her own... and write her own stories.

I think there is too much happening in life that she wasn't learning the real enjoyment of immersing herself in a book. Sometimes, we really need to slow down our life and enjoy quiet "me-time". It's harder for our kids, because life has always been this way, where we didn't have all the electronics growing up (and we got tired of playing atari pong all the time).

Good luck and many prayers.

Courtney - posted on 01/07/2010




It's very important that you find what the child interests your child. It could be something you never imagined. I have two daughters who are avid readers. I believe a part of it is that I will sit and read with them. We read aloud to one another and it becomes a family game. Then after their interests are piqued it becomes easier and easier to get them to read. I believe setting aside "reading time" for 20 minutes a day is also a way to help them. Take them along to half priced books and let them find what books they would like. My youngest likes to read to her stuffed animals and play teacher. So, I guess role playing could help too in this situation. Happy reading.

[deleted account]

I know it is hard but it is kinda like the supernanny's best weapon- time out with no engagement by the parent- what I mean is that if she is someplace where there is nothing else to do and there are magazines around of interest to her, she is going to pick one up. Where is that place? I took our family to a timeshare 3 day weekend on a cold weekend (no outdoor activities and banned all cell phones, tvs, gameboys, etc. I had got there first and had food laid in and magazines and newspapers, etc. One summer I bartered $20 and a ride to the mall with friends for a four hour family in the park- my rules. We played cards for one hour, we walked for one hour, we had a reading time (blankets/chairs) for one hour and open time (they took off). Grumbling they went home- but in between- laugher, real conversation, exercise and *** reading!

Start with mags, move to e-books, then go for the Kindle!

The other approach is the reward approach. She wants something- all teenage girls do? What is she willing to do it get it? Sitting with you and hubby for 30 minutes twice a week reading a book of her choice for ? weeks = her prize. Smile and laugh when you suggest it- tell her how much pleasure it will give you to be in the room reading with her- memories (the song). Good luck- please consider coming to our community "We Survived Our Teens!" and tell us how it worked out- and ask other questions of parents who's kids are now grown (hindsight so powerful!). Jude

Kristi - posted on 01/05/2010




for me my son who just turned 15, got intrested in reading when the Harry Potter books came out, u can find books that are within their intrest then challenge them to a read off of sorts. to get my girls to read more i let them choose a book and i read a chapter to them then they have to read the next 2 before i read another one. Try reading the old classics like Old yeller or treasure Island it gets them excited about what comes next that they will want to finish it on their own because the process is long. Also finding books that are on the AR list will help them out in school. Hope this helps.

Diane - posted on 01/04/2010




A friend of mine whose daughter hates to read but wanted to see the new Twilight movie, told her that if she read the book then when the movie opened in the theater she would take her to see it at the first showing (happened to be a midnight showing time). Jallyssa was so excited to go that she read it and her mom told me they had a great mother and daughter time too! I realize that not all books have movies, LOL, but a great many of them do, so maybe you could get her to read a book by promising a DVD movie night with her favorite treats just her and you if she finishes the book by a certain (reasonable!) deadline. My friend read the book too and she said that part of the fun was being able to discuss daily what they had read. I think it's a great way to open up communication between the two of you too!! Also, I used to tell my kids if they read a book a month for a year then they could have an agreed upon prize, that worked for them because most often the prize was something I ordinarily wouldn't have agreed too (LOL not because it was bad, but just something I am so not interested in like ice skating!)

Maria - posted on 01/04/2010




Boy, that is a tough one! That is one problem we all have nowadays. It seems that not a lot of kids, especially teens, read anymore, since the inception of better information highway. My oldest one got tired of reading books, until I brought him and my youngest son to Barnes & Noble and sometimes Borders, and we'd sit to pass time. I suggested that that they both find something they enjoy reading, be it a magazine, a picture book, or what have you, and spend at least 30 minutes, while we spend time together, drinking hot chocolate, coffee or what have you. It took awhile for them to understand, but they took to it, and even their dad started joining us, so it became sort of a family weekend affair, an hour on weekends that they started looking forward to it. It also brought the four of us together. Now, I don't even have to force them to read. they still needed to be reminded every now and then. But, they do it on their own, when they know they have to. Hope this helps.

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