How to Keep Your Middle School Age Kids Talking

Bookmark and Share

by Denise on February 6, 2011 · 1 comment

in (10-14 years)

One of the problems single moms face with middle schooler’s is a lack of communication. You have moved from being the person who “knows all” that you were when they were in preschool, past the “cool mom” stage that comes from having great snacks ready for sleepovers in elementary school, and have become the “mom who doesn’t get it and tries to stop all of my fun.”

Eye rolling, arguments, and the silent treatment are common at this age, while kids are learning their own likes and dislikes and developing an independent streak. Your job is to keep them talking, so you can guide them through the struggles and pitfalls common to most middle school experiences, and help them come out on the other side stronger and more centered on who they are.

Remember, this is an age when you need to choose your words carefully. You need to help your child understand that he is the one who is responsible for his actions and attitudes, not everyone around him. When he comes home from school crabby, ask him, “Why did you choose to be grumpy today?” He might still blame others, but he will get a sense of his own responsibility. By asking questions, you will be giving him a platform to talk.

Avoid the temptation to be too direct with your child whenever you can. While there will be times when you have to be direct and lay down the law, other times you can be less direct. Maintain a consistent presence in your child’s life, and be ready to talk when he is. Remember that meaningful conversations with middle schoolers are not going to take place when it is convenient for you. When your child is ready to talk, you need to be ready and waiting to listen.

One of the primary ways to ensure that your middle schooler keeps talking to you is to listen. Instead of jumping in and trying to fix every problem he brings to you, you need to listen, validate his feelings, and then offer suggestions on ways he can take responsibility for the problem at hand and fix it with minimal help from you. Of course, there will be situations that require your direct intervention, but you need to show your middle schooler that you recognize he is growing up and that you are ready for him to take responsibility for more of his actions and reactions.

Parenting a middle schooler is tough. When you are tempted to become frustrated with the mini-teen attitude, think back to your own junior high years. It’s a difficult age to be in, and you can help your tween through it with consistent love and support.

About Denise

As a mom to three girls Denise knows the difficulties of being a single parent. Denise has been working to help single moms across the country since 2007. In her free time Denise enjoys camping, riding four wheelers and just spending time with her family.


More Single Moms Resources

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Angie February 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Listening to your child is a great way to have them talk to you. If you constantly try to talk over them, or nag, they will never open up. Have supper each and every night together and talk. Ask them about their day and what was great about it. Or ask what they are learning in school. Or offer to help them with homework so you can talk then. Just do not loose communication because as they age it only gets worse.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Join The Single Mom Community