Connecting With My Teen (Through Books)

connecting with my teen

In moments of waiting, you’ll often find me with a book.  This is a recent thing. I like it.

I love reading novels, but over the past…8 years or so…I haven’t made time for it.  There are three main reasons for this: it’s rare to have long chunks of quiet moments to digest a good book (the way I like to read); I find myself too tired at night; and reading articles on my phone is an easy and assessable distraction.

But I am reading again.  As I said: I like it.

It started with churning of thoughts in my head about my beautiful teen.  She’s absolutely fantastic, and I love how our relationship is developing.  One thing about my daughter is she loves to read.  And when I say love, I mean she devours books at an astounding rate and I can’t keep up with her appetite. It’s not uncommon for her to get through 2 full length novels in a week.

When it came around to her birthday recently, I asked for ideas of what she wanted.

“Money?” I suggested, thinking that perhaps she would enjoy to shop and pick out her own present.

“No,” she said. “I want books.”

Music to my ears!

Parenting changes in the different stages, and I find it necessary to connect with my teen in a new way.  She’s continually more of her own person, with her own thoughts, ideas and interests — I love that.  There’s also the emergence of a new generation that plays into it, a generation that is different to my own.

As I was mulling through information in the mother part of my brain, I realised the importance of tapping into my daughter’s keen interest.  It’s about connection.  So I started reading one of her favourite book series.

I love seeing her eyes light up when I mention a character I discovered. I love our conversation about plot, people and places.

My thoughts in action had the desired outcome I was hoping for: another level of connection. But there is more than that. I too have reclaimed my love for reading.  I love carrying around a book with me to steal quiet moments while waiting at school for the kids or in the waiting room for an appointment. 

This is it: the beauty of motherhood invested.  You give, and in the giving, there are surprises that give right back.

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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    • says

      The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, starting with Eragon (that’s what I’m reading at the moment).

      I asked my teen what books she recommends (she’s into fantasy) and her current favourites are:

      – The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
      – Dragon Keeper Series by Caroline Wilkinson
      – Ruby Redford by Lauren Child
      – Hiccups Memoirs by Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon Series)
      – The Fire Within Series by Chris d’Lancey
      – Narnia by C. S. Lewis

  1. Kathryn McDonald says

    I might recommend those to my daughter. She loves Ruby Redfort. She is enjoying the Terry Pratchett “Tiffany” series at the moment – I love them too, a fabulous strong and real female character who is discovering that she is actually a witch.
    Some other books she loves (but which aren’t fantasy) are by an Adelaide author called Marianne Musgrove. “The Beginners Guide to Revenge” is a brilliant look into the trials of being a teen and being true to yourself.
    It is a wonderful way to connect with our teens. :) Thanks for the suggestions, and the reinforcement of the value of reading “together” when they are older.

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