Routines are not just for babies and toddlers. Research shows that routines are beneficial for teens, as well.
As a teacher, my students always want to know what their schedule is, what’s the agenda for class, etc. If we have a change in our schedule, the students always want to know, “What’s our schedule?!” “Where do we go?!” What are we doing?!” Needless to say, they get a little crazy when our schedule is different!
Studies show that teens with established routines, such as family meal times, consistent bedtimes, and after-school schedules have a higher chance of success in school, less stress, and greater self-control, among other positive benefits.
Of course, balance is important. Teens don’t need every minute to be scheduled for them. I recommend focusing on having a consistent bedtime, time to do homework, and time for reading. If you do not have a reading routine established at home, I have a few tips for you!
Tips for a reading routine for your teen:
- Make it at the same time every day. 30 minutes before bed or 30 minutes after they get home from school are good options. If it is summer time, 30 minutes in the morning could work!
- Books for your “reading routine” are for enjoyment! No school-related reading!
- Help your child find a book they are interested in reading. Take an afternoon with your child to go to your local library or book store and find a book that interests them. They should read a book that piques their interest for 10 minutes, if they still are uninterested, they should look for a new book. I would pick out a couple of books so that they can continue the reading routine when they finish a book.
- If your child is a reluctant reader, start with 10 minutes of daily reading and slowly work up to 30 minutes.
- Nonfiction or graphic novels or comic books are good options for boys who may be reluctant readers.
- After they finish reading for the day, talk to your child about what they are reading. I recommend reading the first chapter (at least) to get an idea of some good questions to ask to start a discussion.
For reluctant readers, this process is going to take time and persistence. Keep at it! Eventually, your child will learn the types of books they enjoy.
Resources: Journal of Adolescent Health – 11/2018