Getting Your Child to Open Up

Are you having trouble getting your child to open up? This is a very common occurrence with pre-teens and adolescents. Here are some ideas to try, but do not give up if your child does not become an instant chatterbox.

  • Make time each day for individual quiet time with your child. Many children tell us that their parents' lives are just too busy.
  • Turn the conversation into a game, like 20 questions and you guess answers. Ask your child if your answers are hot or cold (close to right or way off base).
  • Find common ground by reading the same books they read, watch their TV shows or play video games with them. This can provide an opportunity for fun conversation, which often clues you in to how your child is feeling about issues that are more serious.
  • Tune in to what your child is feeling without being judgmental. Say things like, “Oh so that's what's bothering you,” or “How did that make you feel?”
  • Listen to their conversations with other people when you volunteer to take them and their friends on outings. No need to be a part of the conversation, that will probably just make them clam up.
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