• Mandi Frost

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

Updated: Jun 11

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.