NORMAN — Q: Our seventh-grade son has just started showing an interest in reading. He has hated it in the past. We are excited and want to help him continue on this path by suggesting books for him to read over the summer. Can you suggest any resources that would make us sound like we know what we are talking about?
— Ted and Freida, Norman
Dear Ted and Freida,
He has to pick what he wants to read. It is great to offer suggestions, but ultimately kids often see this as something their parents are making them do.
Have him talk to his school librarian (media specialist). These people have their thumbs on what’s good. The public library also has people who can point you in the right direction.
It’s always a good idea to read some of the books he is reading so you can discuss them. Even certain periodicals are a good choice because they don’t feel like actual “reading” to kids if they are interested in the subject matter.
Q: My freshman daughter’s best friend moved away a couple of weeks ago and she is absolutely devastated. She doesn’t make friends easily, so she has become withdrawn and just doesn’t seem to care about much — school included. Do you recommend taking her to see a licensed counselor?
For young teens, losing a friend to distance is about equivalent to the end of the world. They don’t stop to consider all the resources at their disposal.
For instance, gone are the days of long distance charges for phone calls, thanks to cell phones. Friends also can communicate through social media or email. You might reassure your daughter that the friend might be able to come visit during the summer.