All parents want to connect with their kids. Today’s society makes it easier to communicate with our kids, but not necessarily to connect with them. Books are an old-school way to get that connection back in your life. Here’s how:

  • Participate in summer reading programs – Book stores around the country offer summer reading programs, including Barnes & Noble and Borders Books. You can also find summer reading programs from publishers like Scholastic and your local library. Kids can earn prizes or free books for reading, and you can earn a connection with your child while you help him or her set a goal and reach it.
  • Make a regular library date – Pledge to spend an hour a week with your child at the library. Whether you choose to do so during a library-sponsored event or set your own time is up to you. Just make a date and keep it. Explore a different section of the library each week.
  • Write a book together – Is your child a great storyteller or artist? Collaborate with your child to create a book together. Even if it is only a self-published book with a construction paper cover, it will represent a great memory and a great accomplishment.
  • Share your favorite childhood books – Tell your kids about the books that you loved when you were their ages. What did you love about them? How did you discover them? Introduce your favorites to your kids to help them become book lovers.
  • Give books as gifts – Get a nice hardcover edition of your favorite childhood book and present it to your child. One family I know includes a book each year as a special Christmas gift.
  • Read together – A favorite pastime for many of my homeschooling friends is the evening reading time. The family gathers together while one family member reads aloud. Mom crafts, the littles color, and Dad may cuddle with another child while one reads, or family members take turns. They tell me it’s a nice back-to-basics time that the children actually enjoy.

Connecting with your kids through books doesn’t have to be a chore or a nightmare. In fact, you just may discover that it’s the most fun you’ve had together in a long time.