Dr. Rich Patterson

Connect With Kids – Part 2

We have been discussing ways to make connections with kids, conversations, and what to say.  As an adult, perhaps without kids at present, you may not have a lot of contact with kids.  I want to encourage you to push yourself beyond that roadblock by taking with teens.  Some individuals have said to me, but it is so difficult, or they are rude, maybe what if they insult me or laugh at me.  All of that can happen, of course, but it isn’t the norm.  When teens are with each other, just having fun, it seems like they don’t need us adults to say anything with them, but the opposite is true.  Teens enjoy interacting with adults and are compliments with you take time for a tribute or to ask them about something.  Think back to when you were a teen.  Did you enjoy talking with adults?

Most teens would like more positive interaction with adults, and by taking time to do so, they feel complimented.  So, if your kids are long gone or if you do not have kids, do not think like your interaction doesn’t matter.  It does.  There are many opportunities for conversation, and I would like to give you some topics to talk about with teens.  These questions assume you have made an approach and done a bit of small talk, so they know that you’re now after anything.

  1.  I have heard so much about safety at our schools.  Has there been a time at your school when you have feared for your safety?
  2. How do the kids react to so many drills of different sorts in school?  I know you have shelter-in-place, fire drills, tornado drills, active shooter drills, what is the reaction from kids to all of these?
  3. What teacher has made the most significant favorable influence on your life?  Why is that?
  4. How did you connect with that teacher?  Was it their personality, or something they said or a way that they treated you?
  5. What does your ideal day at school look like?
  6. What does your ideal day-off of school look like?
  7. If you could change one aspect of the world today, what would you change?  Their answers will open your mind up to some current generational thinking, and it may surprise you in a good way.
  8. What do you fear most about the future?
  9. How do you keep yourself going to do your best?
  10. How does it feel when you have worked so hard on something and accomplished it?  What is that for you right now?

These ten questions will begin to open up conversations and serve as jumping-off points for additional questions and interactions.  Stay in the present, don’t tell stories from the past, and be aware of your body posture – stand tall.  You will find this to be engaging, and once you’ve had a conversation with a teen, you will look for other opportunities to do the same.

Yours for Better Parenting,