Communicate with your child
- Ask open-ended questions ... What are you studying in ___?; Tell me about your day.
- Be available to listen ... Talk when your child wants to talk. He/she will be more open when you are doing something "distracting" such as making dinner, driving in the car, going for a walk.
- Recognize his/her concerns ... It might seem like a small thing to you, but to your child it could be a HUGE problem. Validate what they are telling you by reflecting what you hear and offer a simple suggestion to help; but do not push the issue. They do want to figure problems out on their own because they are trying to be independent.
- Pay attention to non-verbal communication ... Watch for changes in moods, sleeping & eating habits; drastic hair style or clothing changes; also take notice of the friends they have. If you are concerned, talk with him/her. IF they are resistant to talking, contact your child's teachers or school counselor.
Some of the information above is taken from "Starting Middle School A Guide for Parent" - Woodburn Press - www.woodburnpress.com