Establishing and Maintaining a Relationship with
The preteen years are truly tricky for establishing connections with your youth! Not only is your child going through lots of physical growth, they are also starting to experience the emotional fluctuations associated with puberty. However, if you invest some time and have patience, you can continue to build a meaningful relationship with your child.
Make Time for Talking
First, you must devote some 1-on-1 time with your child. It could be as simple as taking that one child with you to run a quick errand, or even using a car ride to make a connection. Some bond over baking goodies, working on small home projects, or gardening in the backyard. Still, others families opt to do parent-child “mini-dates.” Pack a picnic lunch and head out for a hike, or have your child pick their favorite dessert hang-out or sushi place! The environment should be relaxed and chill so that you can carry a good conversation. The most important thing is that your child feels you value them and you love them.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Sometimes, an honest conversation starts up naturally and you can just go with the flow. But if you are stuck with nothing to say, here are some good open-ended questions that can help guide your conversation:
- What’s going on with you these days?
- What’s your favorite song? What do you like about it?
- What are you looking forward to this week, month or year?
- Who are your best friends? What do you like about them?
- What seems to be bothering you? Is something on your mind?
- What goals do you have for your future? What can I do to support you?
- How do you feel about ___________?
Need Feedback From Parents
What other suggestions or conversation starters do you have for connecting with your youth? We’d love to hear them!
Copyright © 2019 by GenParenting
Discovering the joy of teaching while in high school, Jaime pursued her B.A. in English at Santa Clara University. She also received a teaching credential and a M.A. in Education Administration from Santa Clara University. Jaime taught English Language Arts at Rancho Middle School, motivating and inspiring young people to become effective communicators and contributors in their community. From being a Middle School English Language Arts/English Language Development teacher to becoming a stay-at home mom, Jaime is an education consultant who presents literacy workshops. Her workshops focus on a combination of her ten years of teaching expertise with tried-and-true experiences that she uses with her own children. Jaime is also a Teacher Consultant with the San Jose Area Writing Project. Jaime’s mission is to share effective reading and writing strategies with families to encourage literacy.