For kids and teens, reading can be the perfect escape into another world. A way to use their active imagination, delving into different lives and experiences. Reading has so many benefits.

Sometimes the reading train can be a tricky one to catch. The timing has to be right, as does the destination. But once a child knows where the station is – reading will be with him forever.

My eldest son struggled with reading until he was about 9yrs old. It was a chore, it was a hassle, it created anxiety. But once he discovered the art of reading (after finding Andy Griffith’s book “The Cat on the Mat is Flat”) he has not looked back.

When he started high school, he became very overwhelmed at the level of homework which he was handed. To help support him, I read his assigned English books as well, so we could discuss his assignment questions together. This simple task opened up a door that I didn’t realise would benefit us as a whole family.

Reading the same books as my kids has enabled us to talk about things other than the news, gossip, TV or school. Discussing a story, laughing at  the funny bits, crying at the sad bits, has opened the lines of communication through the words of literacy….it has changed our world.

It is now a common occurance  for me to borrow the kids’ books when I go to bed, silentlystealing taking them from their bedside tables, keeping two bookmarks in the one book!(mine and theirs)

I love it, they love it. We go to the library to choose books together….we tempt each other with the story’s ending (whoever has finished first!) and although I am reading a few books at once (to keep up to date with all of the boys) they always ask me what part I am up to, eagerly wanting to be ahead of me, to know more than I know.

I am currently hooked on the “Hunger Games” series, and my son is a book ahead of me. He refuses to tell me what happens. He has already seen the movie and says,”Mum, you don’t judge a book by its movie….you will have to just finish it”.

Last night he finished the third book in the series, Mockingjay and was deeply moved by it, he was torn between wanting to talk about it and not wanting to spoil the ending for me…he said, “Mum, hurry up and finish it, so we can talk about it…” ~ the connection has been made.

By reading what my children are reading, I am kept in touch with their interests, their ideas, their influences…. and I highly recommend it as a way for parents to stay connected to their children.

Do you read your children’s books too?

Stay Happy…Nicky :)

**Having such a large family means we pretty much have our own little ‘book club’ meetings…and I love it.

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