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Raising a Reader, Cultivating a Leader

Boy reading storybook in bed

As parents, fostering a love for reading in our teens may require a touch of subtlety, but fear not—there's a path forward, even for the less enthusiastic young reader.

  1. The "Early Bedtime" Move: Unveiling the Literary Night Secret An artful trick to encourage reading is the enigmatic "Early Bedtime" strategy. Initiate the routine by setting your teen's bedtime 45 minutes to an hour earlier than the lights-out deadline. Begin with the customary teeth brushing and bathroom rituals, followed by your storytelling session before the official bedtime. Now, present them with a choice, saying, "It's time for bed. Do you want lights out, or do you fancy staying up a bit to read?"

Given the option, unless fatigued, they often choose the latter. Without coercion, they perceive it as their idea, relishing the opportunity for a 'late' bedtime. Your role is to step back—no guiding or book suggestions. It's their time to choose any book and read at their pace until you bid them goodnight and extinguish the lights. This artful manoeuvre ensures reading becomes an enjoyable, self-driven experience.

  1. Reading Fun: Crafting Literary Adventures Participate in or create a reading program, potentially at your local library, or organize one at home, complete with enticing rewards for completed books. Transform the experience into a game, using a Monopoly or Life board, where each read book propels your teen forward. To elevate the excitement, allow them to roll the dice after finishing a book, unlocking prizes at designated points.

Ensure the rewards are genuinely appealing. If your teen values quality time, plan a special date focused on their interests. For those motivated by toys, let them earn the desired item, or grant a break from routine chores. A visit to their favourite restaurant could also be a delightful incentive—keep it enjoyable, and the reading adventure transforms into a fun-filled journey.

  1. Book First, Movie Later: Literary Prequels for Screen Adventures Incorporate a golden rule: no movie viewing until the corresponding book is read. Whether you read it aloud or they venture through it independently, the book precedes the cinematic experience. If your teen eagerly anticipates the next blockbuster like Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, or Lemony Snicket, they must delve into the book first.

These three artful strategies weave an enchanting tapestry, guiding your teen toward embracing a lifelong love for reading—one page at a time.

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