It seems that a lot of adults do not know how to socialize with kids and teenagers. Every time we go out, people always ask my kids the same 2 questions:
- How are you?
- Do you like school?
My middle child has social anxiety and dyslexia, so school isn’t her favourite question. Talking about school can send her into an anxiety attack. She’s learned that if she answers those questions honestly adults dismiss her feeling or say “don’t worry it’s going to get better”.
After these questions are done, so is all conversation.
When talking with kids I always try to talk to them about non-school related subjects. Instead of the obvious above mention questions, I ask the following:
- I ask them about their interests. If I don’t know what they are talking about, I ask them to explain. That shows real interest and the child will feel it and appreciate it.
- I ask them about activities they enjoyed over the last year or since the last time I saw them.
- I try to share about my own life, if any experience are similar to their interest or favourite activities, even if it’s embarrassing. Kids feel better when adults aren’t so perfect.