As my kids have gotten older, I've realized that one key to having them really want to talk to me—about anything—is picking the best time for them.
Not the best, most convenient time for me.
Nope. The most convenient time for them.
And it's taken some trial and error, but especially during the long winter break, this is something that most parents of tweens will want to know: books can be a great way to get kids to talk to you.
Really. Maybe you can't stand the music or TV programs your tween likes, but the books for middle-grade readers are actually awesome.
So before anything, you want to make sure you've read the same book as your tween. And remember: tweens are smart. They'll know if you read the book or if you skimmed it, so really read it.
Pick one of these times to jump in for the convo:
1. In the car. Yes, they're trapped. And there's nowhere for kids to go. But if you can hit your tween with a comment about the book at just the right time, he or she will most likely want to talk to you.
2. In the kitchen. While you're cooking or while your tween is eating, it's a safe, happy place in the kitchen. And it's a super time for a conversation with your often hungry growing child.
3. At bedtime. Your tween will most likely want to do anything except go to bed, so bedtime is the perfect time to push the cards a little and actually talk about books. My best conversations with my tween have occurred 15 minutes after said bedtime, when she wanted to stay up and chat. Though my parent brain is basically done for the day at 9pm, my tween seems to be her most alert then, and I'm always amazed at what she says and how she thinks that late at night.
During this tumultuous time in their lives, talking about books with our tweens is a safe ground. It's not curfews or screen time or friends or homework.
Books open the door to so many important topics to discuss with our kids, so let's start now.
When is a good time to talk about books with your tween? Let us know!