Frank Bruni, an op.ed columnist from the New York Times, wrote a column today about the change in how much teens read: Full article below.
"a new report by Common Sense Media came out. It showed that 30 years ago, only 8 percent of 13-year-olds and 9 percent of 17-year-olds said that they “hardly ever” or never read for pleasure. Today, 22 percent of 13-year-olds and 27 percent of 17-year-olds say that. Fewer than 20 percent of 17-year-olds now read for pleasure “almost every day.” Back in 1984, 31 percent did. What a marked and depressing change."
I don't know about you, but when I was a teen, I loved getting into bed with my book and my flashlight (which by the way I still use when I read before bed) and reading until I fell asleep. I have wonderful sweet memories of my daughter and I (as a teen) snuggling up on the couch, each with our books, and spending the afternoon engrossed in our own worlds.
Given the choice between snuggling up to an Iphone/Ipad or a book, I'm afraid is no contest. Telling your teen they should read more won't work either. But setting aside tech free nights for family reading time might. Do your teens see you sprawled on the couch or on your bed knee deep in a good book. Maybe you're engrossed in loads of laundry, and food prep for the masses, or finishing up a project for work, and just don't give yourself that permission to throw caution and laundry to the wind and sit in the living room with your feet up, your reading glasses tottering on your nose to read a good yarn.
Remember modeling is the best parenting practice there is.