It can be very frustrating when a parent tries to encourage their youth to read more while they are more interested in playing video games or hanging out with their friends.
There are a couple of things you may want to consider before you jump into an action plan to get your child to read more. First, do they have access to a variety of books or reading material? Do you take them to the library and let them explore their own areas of interest? Also, do they have enough time to read? Some children are so inundated with activities and obligations that they don't have much free time to leisure read. Another thing to consider is if your child has a tough time understanding or comprehending what they read. Sometimes kids don't do well in a particular school subject or activity because it's very difficult for them and they are embarrassed and afraid to tell someone about it. You can test this by asking them to read along with you for a few paragraphs.
If they are simply spending too much time on video games, television, or friends, it's up to you to restrict their access to those things.
Spend some time assessing why they may not be interested in reading and then allow them time and opportunities to read more. Be a good example by reading yourself. Have some quiet time set aside in the evening when everyone can read together as a family.
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Try and find something that would interest your child. Don't get what's popular and hot now like "Harry Potter" or "Twilight" but something that can relate to, what they enjoy doing, or something that can spark their interest. I do not know the age of your child, but when I was in the 9th/10th grade I enjoyed reading Romiette and Julio Sharon M. Draper, If you Come Softly Jacqueline Woodson, The First Part Last Angela Johnson, and What my Mother doesn't Know Sonya Sones.
Try setting aside a special time and place to read for fun while together, such as a cafe on Sunday mornings. Each person reads his/her own book, just while being together. Despite (because of?) the quiet, this can actually create some relaxed closeness too.
It's so important that kids develop steady and consistent ready habits in order to be succesful learners, so I think it's great you asked this question!
At my home, my sister and I were encouraged to read from when we were very young. Some of things my mother did were explicit, like reading to us at bedtime and taking us book shopping as a reward for good behavior. We would go to a bookstore downtown and make a whole day of it, eating lunch at a favorite restaurant and getting ice cream after. But mostly, I think I learned to value to reading because my parents modeled good reading habits for us all the time. Simple things like switching off the TV and reading a book instead, getting newspapers and reading interesting articles (and even funny advertisements ) aloud to us. Leave a lot of interesting reading material around the house and set aside time in your day to read, and your kids might find it easier to get into the habit.
We also have a 15 year old who has no interest in reading. We have found that reading magazines or non-fiction seems to hold the most interest. I know it is not 'War and Peace' but some reading is better than nothing. We even offered to PAY for each book that was read and even that did not spark an interest!!!
I absolutely agree with the person who suggested magazines and non-fiction. There is way too much literary pretension. Popular Science and Mechanix Illustrated are good. I read WIRED cover to cover every month. History Channel has an excellent history mag. What girl wouldn't enjoy PEOPLE?...But most important, make sure that they can actually read. Easy to test. If kids drop words, add words, substitute words, or reverse words, they are illiterate in the way that Whole Word generates. See site below for remedial help: