Other interests—from sports to music to socializing—can take up time that was once spent on reading. Here are some ways to keep your child's interest in reading alive:

  • Use your child's current interests as a springboard. Find a book of baseball stories for the sports fan. Find a magazine article on a popular singer for a child who's a fan.

  • Respect your child's growing maturity. Share interesting books or articles with your child as you would with a friend your age. You might say, "I just read the funniest story in the paper. I thought you might like it." Then give your child a chance to read it...or to ignore it. (You wouldn't go back to a friend and say "Why didn't you read that article? You'll never amount to anything if you don't read more.")

  • Give your child a gift certificate to a bookstore. While she's shopping, choose a book or two for yourself. Or consider leaving your child alone to make the decision. Say "When you're done, let's meet for an ice cream." The feeling of independence that comes from being treated as an adult may make reading more exciting again.

  • Encourage your child to talk with the librarian about books she might enjoy. Often, librarians may know just the right book to spark your child's interest again.

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