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Five Tips for Starting a Parent-Teen Summer Book Club

Posted Jul 11 2013 4:38pm

father and son reading In today’s fast-paced, technology-savvy society parents are forced to get creative with how they approach serious health conversations with their distracted teens. Fortunately, summertime provides parents with the opportunity to focus on building a relationship with their teen and with their teen’s friends. Through creativity and trust, parents can engage in meaningful conversations with teens about important topics such as peer pressure, bullying, substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

Through my personal experience, I found that forming a parent-teen summer book club was one successful method for starting these difficult health conversations. By reading and discussing books on substance abuse and recovery, parents can talk with their teen early on about the health risks of substance abuse.

If you’re interested in starting a parent-teen book club this summer that will garner participation from parents, teens and other community members use the below as guidelines to get started:

  • Encourage your teen to help organize the book club and invite their friends.
  • Focus on reading books about substance abuse, addiction, recovery, prevention and the consequences of misusing drugs and alcohol.
  • Provide incentives such as a free meal or raffle off items like movie tickets to encourage teen participation.
  • Periodically ask guest speakers to attend book club meetings to share their personal experiences of substance abuse and how it impacted their health.
  • Prepare ahead of time and ask engaging questions at the end of each session.

If you are not familiar with books focused on substance abuse, addiction or recovery, you can visit the Northport Community Book Club’s website for recommendations. You can also follow the Northport Community Book Club on Facebook and Twitter .

Do you plan to start a parent-teen book club to discuss risky health behaviors in your community? If so, what other tips do you have for parents to help drive teen interest and engagement?

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