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books for teens that encourage personal growth, executive function & Business ideas

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Do your teens like reading? OR Should I say did they used to like reading until they got a cell phone?

When our sons were growing up, we wanted to instill in them a love for reading and I have many happy memories reading aloud to them everyday. These were our golden moments together where we immersed ourselves into the adventures and connect with the characters. Some days, the book was too exciting to put down and reading would be our education for the week until the book was complete! I guess, I could say that reading together became a family tradition and we always made it a priority. As our boys entered their teen years, I continued to read to them up until the youngest was 16.

How do we encourage our teens to read in this digital age? Families need to create golden moments for reading times together. If parents don`t read and they want their kids to enjoy reading, it`s not going to happen and it will always be a chore. Parents cannot force the love of reading; they need to model it and create these times of enjoyment.

Perhaps you could think of some incentives for your teens to read? How about brainstorming some ideas with them?

When our boys were little, the only money they received from us was "reading money." We do not believe in "pocket money" or kids receiving money without earning. Two of our sons struggled with reading due to dyslexia so reading was a challenge and offering them a reward, helped them master this imperative life skill which they also learned to enjoy and to love.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Create family reading times together. Talk about movies, TV shows or video games they like and find books that expand on those interests. Read aloud books should always be captivating.

  2. Surround them with good books. You can buy second hand books or take out books from the library.

  3. Brainstorm ideas of how you can start setting up regular reading times together or individually. A teenager can set a reading timer and decide how to proceed. Remember to always hear your teens ideas so there is greater buy in! How much more will your teenager follow through if its THEIR idea than if it`s your idea?

  4. You could begin implementing reading as you do with implementing chores and reading time each day must be complete before your teens get to play video games or go on their devices. In time, they will actually begin enjoying reading again and will not see it as a chore.

  5. Help them to create calm, quiet and peaceful reading environments with no distractions.

  6. You could also offer rewards? Brainstorm ideas together but rewards SHOULD NOT include more time on devices. Ideas: "pocket" money, coffee/milkshake. Natural rewards according to their love language is another idea if you do not want to give them "material" rewards. If you know your teenagers love language, this helps encouragement to read. For example: if your teen`s love language is time with you - that`s a great reward in itself! If their love language is words of affirmation, you could affirm them when they are able to increase their reading attention span.

  7. Let them read whatever they want to read! Just get them reading.

  8. Share what you are reading and learning about with your teenagers.

Personably, I would not recommend books on digital devices. Real books are always best!

It takes time to rewire good habits so give it some time. It`s hard to begin because many teenagers have a low attention span due to cell phone addiction and digital distractions. It will be challenging for them to sit down for 20 minutes.

I have put together a list of books that teens may be interested in. I hope these books will peak their curiosity. This book selection focuses on self development and advancement in executive function and entrepreneur skills. Our world is changing rapidly and young people need to develop a love for reading and learning so they constantly upskill themselves due to this changing career environment.

Future success depends on continuous, life-long learning (engaging, up-skilling, re-skilling) and learning soft skills ( critical thinking, problem solving, emotional intelligence, self-management skills, self-improvement, social skills). Focusing on academics and grades will not prepare students for real life.

I hope you will find some books for your teen from these suggestions! They may prefer novels which I have not included. Perhaps that will be another post?

You can also take a look at chapter books for READ_A_LOUD books as a family.

Take a look at these amazing home school reading books for young kids and teens!

This book offers valuable tools based in mindfulness and self-compassion to help you overcome self-judgment and self-criticism, cultivate compassion toward yourself and others, and embrace who you really are.

Whether you are dealing with overwhelming emotions, peer pressure, bullying, or the struggle to fit in, adolescence can be a bumpy road. Self-Esteem Tools for Teens will help you come away with a better appreciation for who you are and a greater ability to recognize your potential.

In this go-to guide for teens, four anxiety experts offer tangible tips and tools you can use every day to rewire your anxious brain; manage fears, stress, and worry; and get back to living your life.

The Grit Guide for Teens will help you build perseverance, resilience, self-control, and stamina.

This book is ideal for college first-year experience programs, introductory leadership courses, and anyone who is just starting on their leadership journey. Many schools are using this book to challenge their entire student body to become leaders and to nurture a thriving leadership culture on their campus and organization.

Brain Tools for Teens is written in a warm and engaging manner, speaking directly to teenagers, using a combination of personal stories, evidence to aid understanding of the issues, and includes more than 160 practical and realistic tips for implementation of strategies.

Procrastination is especially tough for young adults. Getting started is overwhelming, it's hard to get motivated, not knowing how long things take messes up planning, and distractions are everywhere. We are all wired to put things off, but we can learn tools and techniques to kick this habit. This is a very practical, user friendly book!

Getting Things Done for Teens is the how-to manual for the next generation--a strategic guidebook for creating the conditions for a fruitful and effective future.

In this fun and illustrated guide, author Jennifer Shannon blends acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioral strategies to help you recognize your procrastination habits, discover the strengths of your unique procrastination type, and find the motivation you need to meet important deadlines and reach your highest goals.

This positive guide provides a science-based program for promoting teens' independence by building their executive skills--the fundamental brain-based abilities needed to get organized, stay focused, and control impulses and emotions.

This book celebrates the benefits that messiness has in our lives: why it’s important, why we resist it, and why we should embrace it instead. Using research from neuroscience, psychology, social science, as well as captivating examples of real people doing extraordinary things, Tim Harford explains that the human qualities we value – creativity, responsiveness, resilience – are integral to the disorder, confusion, and disarray that produce them.

This book deals with life for a teenager and how to cope. It gives very practical tips and ideas to try for self improvement around sleep, exercise, screen habits, emotions and other topics. It deals with growth and fixed mindsets, resilience and it is very good well rounded fun book to read.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude yields many benefits: physical, mental and spiritual. In this journal, write down something new you have learned today. Write down something amazing that happened in this journal every day. More amazing things will come into your life when you notice these and are appreciative for them.

This revised and updated edition stresses the importance of honesty, loyalty, faith, integrity, and strong personal character.

An inspiring guide to creativity in the digital age, Steal Like an Artist presents ten transformative principles that will help readers discover their artistic side and build a more creative life.

Expert trainer Janita Pavelka, spells out the ABC’s to create fertile soil to raise young entrepreneurs. Her proven techniques are easy to follow and engage children of all ages while helping them cultivate a strong work ethic.

Do you think that a cool startup is expensive, difficult, and unattainable because of your personal circumstances? If you are reading these lines, then these teens’ business ideas are for you—because the reality is quite the opposite. It’s actually very feasible, as you’ll discover in this book.

Want to become a millionaire? Or get a business off the ground? Or save up some money to buy a new bike? All it takes is understanding and putting into practice a few simple strategies and concepts about money.

In this iconic bestseller, popular business blogger and bestselling author Seth Godin proves that winners are really just the best quitters. Godin shows that winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt—until they commit to beating the right Dip.

Godin offers the core of his marketing wisdom in one compact, accessible, timeless package. This is Marketing shows you how to do work you're proud of, whether you're a tech startup founder, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation.

If you are looking for chapter books for READ_A_LOUD books as a family, you can view here.

Take a look at these amazing home school reading books for young kids and teens!

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Happy reading together!

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