Ask Auntie Artichoke-Family Relationships


Dear Auntie: Our eight year old son hates to read. My husband gets impatient when he is trying to read with him at night.  Is reading really that important?

Auntie Artichoke: Yes, it is but so is a connected relationship between father and son. I was asked to review a book recently on this very subject.  It is called Boys and Reading  by Alison Roundtree  available at  She has developed an astounding methods of engaging boys in reading that is enjoyable for the adult and child.

Parenting is a big job! Listen and learn from successful families. Mentor your child to be a healthy, self-sufficient responsible adult.
Parenting is a big job! Listen and learn from successful families. Mentor your child to be a healthy, self-sufficient responsible adult.

Reading is a cornerstone of school success. The child who struggles to read by the fourth grade will be unable to learn all the material presented in the upper grades.  It is very demoralizing  to feel at a disadvantage in school and life because of lack of reading skills.

Be an advocate for your child today.  There are fun resources to help boys learn to read.  By the way, girls like fiction but boys tend to enjoy technical or non-fiction more.  Good luck, I have confidence in you.

Dear Auntie:   How do you feel about teens working?  Our daughter wants to get a job after school.

Auntie Artichoke: In the economic times we are in right now, many families depend on their kids financing their own extra-curricular activities and clothing.  However, many teens are also scheduled so tight that there is no “down time” to just think, dream and meditate.

A rule that we developed when our teens were capable of organizing their time was 12 hours a week was maximum.  We found that any more time and something was bound to suffer.  Usually, that neglected aspect of life was either homework or family time.  10-12 hours is perfect to teach them punctuality, responsibility, and money management.

Real life experience is valuable. It is ideal if your teen can find a job that is more of an apprenticeship.  A position in a law firm, tax office, and special education unit or computer lab may enrich their education, rather than interfere with school. These are all learning life-skills which will assist them in the world of work.

My first book Kids, Chores & More  was written because we owned a number of businesses and were dismayed at the number of young people applying for jobs, who did not know how to work. Most businesses will not take the time to re-parent or teach life-skills.  That is a parent’s job and obligation.  Start young and teach them to be self-reliant individuals.

Judy Helm Wright aka “Auntie Artichoke” is the Global Director of Family Solutions for the Women’s International Network.  She is also a best-selling author, radio host, conference speaker and trainer for leaders and mentors for youth. Please join the community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all at or

Boys & Reading—Teens & Working—Ask Auntie Artichoke (Expert)