Getting Your Teenage Son to Read by Alicia M. Rodriguez
~:: by Alicia M. Rodriguez of Bold Conversations ::~
Before Joseph could walk he had a book in his hand. Granted it found its way into his mouth more often than not but by the time he was two he was enjoying picture books. By the time he headed to kindergarten he could read. Now that little boy is eighteen and his world revolves around friends, music and technology. Getting an eighteen year old to appreciate reading competes with the teenager’s desire to socialize and do what most teens do.
At this age, college looms in the foreground and reading is associated with homework and papers to write. I wanted Joseph to maintain his love of reading that started at a very early age. My son is very creative and I credit reading a wide variety of books to his creative sensibilities. When he is inspired, he writes very well. When he is interested, he devours a book. And that is the hook to getting teenagers to read.
Everyone has something that inspires them. It could be travel, history, music, comedy, or just about anything when it connects with the right attitude can be inspirational. Find out what inspires your teenager. Let go of what you think should inspire him. When Joseph first started to formally read in kindergarten the teacher told us that he could not read well. I knew he could. I also knew that he loved Scooby Doo. So I would buy him a new Scooby Doo book for every book he read in school. It worked. Later he would be learning history through the Magic Tree House book series. His father read the Greek myths to him as a child and through those adventures he gained insight into values, courage and friendship. Inspiration comes in stories, myths and even comic books.
As a teenager, Joseph loves hip-hop, technology, interactive online games and graffiti. He is also interested in metaphysics and quantum science. That’s quite a range of subjects! When I purchase books for him I consider what he may want to learn or what would interest him. I know he reads the books because I hear him commenting to his friends or he will share something from the book with me. Keeping interested in what interests him assures that I can provide him reading opportunities that he feels are valuable.
As a parent, especially one that knows how much reading and writing is needed for college, I find myself wanting to push him towards reading “useful” books. The news flash is that all reading is useful and valuable. He will have to read certain books for school but it’s my job as a parent to keep him inspired to read so that what he considers to be the more tedious reading of school does not quell his love of reading. Balancing the reading he must do with the reading he wants to do is key to maintaining a life long love of learning. And that is what reading essentially does. Through reading he becomes a life long learner. As long as he keeps inspired, stays interested and keeps reading and learning he will continue to grow and develop as an individual who can then contribute his knowledge and wisdom to others. That is the path Joseph began when he was a small child and it is one I imagine he will continue to follow through his teenage years into adulthood.
ABOUT ALICIA: Alicia is a writer, blogger and catalyst for bold conversations. She helps individuals design their lives around what matters. She writes on personal and spiritual development and travel as a transformational journey.
This post was written exclusively by Alicia Rodriguez for Bonbon Break Media, LLC and Mission Read
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