1. Use the 0 – 10 check in system to ask “How was your day?”
Zero = worst – a major loss or death
Ten = best – beat their best time, accepted in special program
Invite your child to assign a number to his day and explain how he got there. You’ll learn about him. And he’ll discover that most days rank between 3 and 8. This is reality. It’s good to know given the skewed digital profile of 10+ most kids and adults post on their digital profiles.
2. Accept your child’s feelings.
Don’t tell her she can’t possibly feel afraid, angry, or disappointed because she has a great life, makes straight As, or is the most popular kid at James Madison. Feelings are neither right nor wrong. To be free to express her feelings and be understood, she must feel confident that she won’t be criticized. You can empathize, of course, but don’t go into “fix it” mode. Let her talk about her feelings without your judgement or correction.
3. Tuck your adolescent in at night.
Nope, your son or daughter is not too old. And you are not too busy. It’s a precious time without distractions to have a chat. Yes, you must leave your phone in the other room. Ask your child if it’d be okay if you resumed this bedtime ritual. I promise you’ll both love it.