Parents on your back? Won't leave you alone? Constantly harassing you about the state of your room, the amount of time you spend on your phone, on your laptop, your Playstation? Does it feel like they are constantly bugging you about something you are doing wrong?
Have I got a solution for you! By doing a few simple things each day, you can keep your parents happy. So much so that they might actually leave you alone. They might look the other way when you stare at your phone and play Flappy Birds like a zombie for fifteen minutes. They might not throw a fit, if you want to spend some time alone in your room playing music and chatting with friends.
What is this miracle solution? You ask. What can possible placate parents so much that they smile every time they see you instead of scowling? Are you ready?
That's right. Voluntarily read books. Read lots of them and read them often. Talk about them with your parents. Discuss the themes and plots and characters. It doesn't matter the book as long as you share why it excites you. Ask to go to the library or the bookstore. Tell them that you are researching authors and recently learned that (insert author name) also wrote (title) and you would love to read that too.
What's that? You have too much homework to read? Yes, I hear you. That is a shame. But just twenty a minutes a day and consistently making your way through one book after another will be fine. Just let your parents see that you are reading and actually enjoying it. Trust me, as parent, I cannot describe the warm feeling I experience every time my daughter chooses to read a book over any other activity. Raising a reader makes us feel like we are doing this parenting thing right.
And most kids love to read till they hit middle school, when other things take over, but your parents need reminders that they raised a reader and the best way to show them and get them off your back is to......Read.
You will be surprised by how excited they get by kids who love books. They are constantly asking me, "How do I get my kid to read?" So trust me, once they see you doing it with excitement and vigor, they will be shocked and pleased to the point of leaving you alone.
image by Enokson
Hey parents, can I talk to you over here for a second? If you are reading this, I have a two-for-one special to offer. As an added bonus, I will tell you how you can get your kids to read. All you have to do is.....yup, you guessed it-- Read. Model what you value. Read to, with and around your kids. Find a book you can read together and share ideas, talk about the plot, the themes and connections to your lives. Nothing gets kids reading like a culture of reading at home. And don't force them to read what you love and think is good for them. Read what they love. Trust me, forcing your kid to read Eat Love Pray will not get them reading, but maybe reading the latest dystopian series or a bio about a footballer, might do the trick.
So there you have kids and parents. The simple act of reading will bring about an unprecedented peace to your household as you make your way through the turbulent adolescent years.
Wait? What's that you say? You do read voraciously, but your parents want you to read "real" books.
"Stop reading those series! That trash you read does not count! Read Pride and Prejudice, I loved it and it will prepare you for IGCSEs!"
Sound familiar? Let's start with parents here. Mom, Dad, if your kid is an avid reader, please do not squash their love of literature, by forcing them to read books that may not be developmentally appropriate and, lets face it, pretty boring. They have their whole lives to read the classics and many of them will, once they have the appropriate skills and are ready for both the stye and content of those books. For now, give your kids a break. Let them read what they love and as mentioned above read with them.
Kids, throw your parents a bone. If you are an avid reader, negotiate a book that might be out of your comfort zone. Read outside your genre. You might learn more about female empowerment and Katnis if you read Jane Erye instead of the Hunger Games for the fifth time.
Hope that helps everyone. Would love to hear your thoughts. Have you tried this at your house? Does it work? What obstacle do you foresee? Parents any ideas to add? Will watching your kid read and excitedly talk about books not make you super happy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.