5 Ways to Build Communication with Your Middle Schooler
Set up a date – schedule a reoccurring monthly one on one date with your middle schooler where they are encouraged to think of topics they want to discuss with you and in return you get to pick one topic to discuss with them. Make it exciting and have them pick the date spot so this is something they look forward to!
Instead of asking “How was your day?” switch it up to get your tween talking. Some examples are “What was the best part of your day?” “What do you wish would have gone differently today?” “What was something funny that happened during your day?” Open ended questions usually result in better responses.
Demonstrate good listening skills – if your child tells you something try to recall what they told you and then offer validation before a suggestion. For example: “That test sounded like it was really hard, you seem pretty upset about your grade… maybe next time we can practice studying together!”
Do a hobby together and discuss it – whether it be watching a TV show, playing a video game, or making dinner together. Bonding with your child over similar interests will help them build trust in you.
Practice “I feel statements” Instead of saying “you did this” try saying “I feel ____ when this incident occurs.” This helps the child learn how to express their own emotions and communicate them with you.