Encouraging teens to look for options
By Teresa A. LeNeave
What could possibly be more relaxing than sitting on the beach, reading a book, with no interruptions? I hope you have a teen in your family who reads for pleasure. Personally, I love reading, which is one reason I love to go on vacation. That seems to be one of the few times I really have time to read without having to stop; get up and do something else. I recently went to Florida; read four books that week and thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the things I was so glad to see was that my daughters and grandchildren were also reading.
During "Teen Read Week" and I was thinking of the options teens have for entertainment. Movies, books, friends, computer games, face book, sports (participating or non-participating), music, art, hunting, golfing ... the list is long, but too many teens opt for television instead. Or, television with a cell phone in their hands at all times!
Teens are not really looking for options, so it's up to us adults to open their eyes to things that might interest them. Most teenagers who love to read, developed the habit early in life. If they aren't reading for pleasure, by this point in their lives, they may never like to read. Although, that is not entirely true for some people. One of my daughters hated to read while in school. Last week she read three books in one week (while on vacation, too). The key is: she reads what she loves. Mystery.
As with anything else you want your teen to care about, give them something they are interested in. They will read what they love. If you're trying to make your child read the Bible, find a way to make it exciting. It may require giving them an easier to read version. Don't be afraid of it, just get them into the habit of reading it. They will opt for the more standard versions when their minds are ready.
There are a lot of great Christian fiction books that a teen would love. Encourage them to look at that option. I suggest Francine Rivers. She has an old series, The Lion Series that is captivating for teen or adult. Others options for teens are Destination Unknown and The Captive Maiden.
One of the best things about books is that it gives you and your child something fun to do together. My grandchildren love going to Books-A-Million and finding books. I often wonder if they've read all we buy, but at least I am giving them an option other than being a couch potato in front of the television. Being a Christian should be fun. Opening avenues of interest may be just what they need to keep them in church at a time when they are so vulnerable.