True, your middle schooler doesn’t crawl into your lap for story time anymore, but you can still encourage her to read. After all, reading is a vital middle school skill—and life skill.

To keep your middle schooler’s nose buried in books:
  • Walk the walk. Make reading a part of your daily like. Let your middle schooler see you leafing through magazines or choosing a thick novel over primetime TV.
  • Read a few young-adult books yourself. By exploring books written from middle-school-aged kids, you may get a better feel for what’s going on in her life and what topics might interest her. Ask a librarian for suggestions.
  • Share what you’re reading. Did you just come across the most amazing article in the newspaper? Tell your middle schooler about it!
  • Remember that she’s growing up. Respect that your middle schooler’s interests are changing and help her find books that reflect those interests. If her shelf is still full of nursery rhymes and fairytales, it’s time for a trip to the bookstore or library.
  • Don’t panic. Adolescence is all about change, so it’s normal for your middle schooler to lose interest in reading for a while. Just continue being enthusiastic about books, and chances are her enthusiasm will return. Source: Reading is Fundamental, “How Parents Can Encourage Teens to Real” . - Reprinted with permission from (c)2007 The Parent Institute, a division of NIS, Inc.