Why You Should Make Your Children Read

I recently had the opportunity to guest teach my sister’s high school freshman English class, where I discussed poetry. To my perhaps misguided surprise, I stumbled upon the revelation that only three people in her class had even heard of Jane Austen (I didn’t ask if they’d read her). While I don’t think that fourteen year olds in the year 2016 should necessarily read Victorian literature that many adults can’t get through, I didn’t see a majority of hands raised when I asked if they’d read the Harry Potter books either. This lead me to a question I’ve been pondering ever since.

Do children read enough?


Many possible answers come to mind. There’s the straight no, the naïve yes, and the “no, but their schedules are too structured to allow for that.” Then there’s the “do any of us read enough,” which is a fair point. What is enough?

Whenever parents ask me about the SAT, I always give the same answer. “Get a tutor if you can afford it, but start encouraging your child to read more.” Math is hard, but it can be taught. How does one teach words? Prefixes, suffixes, and all of that are helpful tips to keep in mind, but I see way too many people put stock into the concept of the SAT flash card as if memorizing word meanings isn’t the standardized testing version of the needle in a haystack.

There are a lot of excuses out there for why children don’t read. They’re lazy. They don’t have the attention spans. TV has replaced books. No, no, and no.

Some children might be lazy. Some may have short attention spans. I’m sure many prefer TV to books. Blanket statements are both insulting and ignore the fact that children do work hard and have plenty of dedication toward activities they enjoy.

Think of how many hours it takes to finish a video game or maintain a YouTube channel. We can take technology out of the equation and expand it to building Legos or even putting on makeup. Children understand what effort is.

The real problem lies with desire. Not reading books does not necessarily reflect a hatred of books, but rather the lack of motivation to do so. In order to become invested in a book, one has to seek it out. There’s a book out there for everyone (like my books). Some “force” (noun, not verb) needs to exist to unite the person with the written words that pertain to their area of interest. Doesn’t sound too difficult right?

Which is why you should force your children to read. That’s right, I said force. Make them. Take away the iPhone if you have to. Why?

The fate of the world depends on it. We’re more connected than ever, but what good is that if we can’t communicate? Books help us form vocabularies. Video games don’t.

While the students in my sister’s class didn’t really know who Jane Austen was, they were able to identify the cultural importance of books. You may not need to know who Jane Austen is to do well on a job interview, but you might get some puzzled looks later on in life if you can’t identify a figure of immense cultural significance (I actually provided a similar example in Five High School Dialogues). Culture matters.

There has been a recent push for computer coding to be taught in public schools. I think that’s a great idea that will position American students to be very competitive in the workforce. We can’t however, forget the basics of education. Children need to read to be able to communicate articulately. It doesn’t matter how good of a coder you are if you can’t send grammatically correct e-mail that conveys your thoughts.

So force your kids to read if you have to. It doesn’t really matter what books they’re reading, as long as they’re engaging in something. They may put up a fight at first, but they’ll think of you twenty years down the road when they’re laughing at a poorly worded e-mail sent by a coworker whose parents didn’t force them to read.


Cover Reveal: His Confession by S. Valentine

HIS CONFESSION by S. Valentine
The Black Door Trilogy, #1
GENRE: Erotic romance.
RELEASE DATE: 16/02/16
PUBLISHER: Limitless Publishing
COVER DESIGNER: TOJ Publishing Services
When Gabriella Woods finds matches from a gentlemen’s club in her fiancé’s pocket, her suspicions require a search for answers.
At the club, she realizes it’s not her fiancé’s fidelity that can’t be trusted…
It’s her own.
Darion Milano is daring, intriguing, and unpredictable…
Unable to get him out of her head—and against Darion’s explicit warning—


Gabi begins a torrid affair. No longer fighting the urge to enter the depth of his dark and mysterious lifestyle, she indulges in his most intimate desires.
They become the most exciting, wild, infatuated couple everybody knows.
Until his confession changes everything…
Her heart is telling her to stay.
Her instinct is telling her to run.
She can never match his outrageous ex-wife and become the fun, fearless woman he craves…
Or can she?
Discover a world of sex, secrets, and seduction.



“His Confession was a surprisingly engaging read with believable characters who were easy to connect with.It dealt with subjects a little different to what I’m used to, but the author did a great job of pulling me into her world.” – Mia Hoddell, YA/NA author.
”His Confession pulled me through from the first paragraph! The enigmatic Darion practically leapt off the pages and I could picture his every move and facial expression clear as day in my head! This story is definitely one to add to your “want-to-read” list-especially if you love a captivating plot as well as scenes so hot that they fog up your glasses. I don’t want to say too much and spoil it for future readers but DARION and GABI put Christian and Ana to SHAME! Enough said. LOL.” – Kiarra M. Taylor, contemporary romance author of THE QUARTER CHANGE.
”I loved it and I’m excited to read more to find out what happens. Darion is a great guy who was hurt badly and doesn’t know how to handle, which in steps Gabi. Love love love her! Hopefully she fights for him! When does the next book come out, as I’m dying to know what comes next! I also hope the girls get their own stories.” – Susan Flynn, Beta reader Writers club.
”S. Valentine does an exquisite job at creating a dynamic between two characters, both from different worlds, that goes beyond a physical attraction. His Confession is book one in The Black Door Trilogy. It is a fast paced story that is full of hotness and anticipation that heats you up from your head to your toes. Gabi, is tired of always playing it safe. Darion, has demons that he can no longer control. When these two get together, boundaries are pushed, control is tested and emotions run wild.” – AV. Scott, author of High Heels & New York.
“A brilliant book which leaves you wondering what happened in Darion’s past that has left him so wary and so afraid to put himself and his heart out there not to mention to put his faith and trust in Gabi, the one woman whose managed to penetrate the walls he’s built. I can’t wait for book 2 and I’m hoping that Darion and Gabi can overcome the obstacles that stand in front of them, including Eva, Darion’s ex wife.” – Rebecca Barber, author Nobody’s Obligation.



S. Valentine grew up in England. Studying English language and literature, as well as law, she worked in a solicitors for many years before moving to Spain. She does however still visit the UK, which in a way, will always be home.
Returning to her lifelong passion of writing books, she’s also a weekly columnist for The Ibizan newspaper on: lifestyle and fashion. Her other interests include reading, shopping and a nice glass of wine. She’s a social media addict, and loves connecting with new people.
For more information, please visit: www.s-valentine.wix.com/books. If you join her newsletter, you will be the first to receive sneak peeks of chapters, teasers, news, giveaway prizes and more!
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