read aloud to your teenagers at bedtime

Check out the interesting stats from Scholastic here. "Eighty percent of children between 12 and 14 years old admitted they liked or loved it when their parents read aloud to them, and 83 percent of high schoolers aged 15 to 17 said they liked or loved it."

We all know that it is important to read aloud to our little kids, to build vocabulary and help them to become lifelong readers. It is not uncommon for that practice to drop off as your kids become independent readers. I have been telling parents of older kids for years to start reading at bedtime again!

First the books are more interesting and you only have to read them once (thank goodness!). You can see classics again through your child's experience and get a chance to share beloved lit with them. But the best thing is that in that quiet time when the lights are low, the kids who couldn't give you the time of day in the cold light of day, become your little darlings again when they are surrounded by their stuffies and snuggled in bed as they did when they were "little". You may not get as much reading done as you think, because this is the time when their guard is down, when they will ask you questions, tell you troubles, ask for advice and share the little joys. Don't ask them about their day when they come home from school - you will get mumbles and eye rolling. Ask them when the lights are low and they are warm and snuggly and have just shared an intimate moment with you. This is not a "trick" to get them to talk to you - although it may work like a charm. This is an opportunity to maintain contact and to share some stillness every day. I guarantee that in the end, the hours of shared reading will be one of the main things that they will remember with fondness about their childhood. It is so easy and so enjoyable for you both.

This is how you keep connection with your teenagers. If you are lucky it will likely go on until high school, when they will have to stay up to do homework long after you have gone to bed. Maybe they can read a bedtime story to you at that point.