Ask PWC | Connecting with Older Kids

What activities, books, and games are recommended for connecting and building relationship with teens?

freedigitalphotos-young asian woman listening to music

Photo courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat | Free Digital Photos

  1. Enjoy quality literature together and then discuss. Some recommended books are Number the Stars, Letters from Rifka, Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule, Night, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, The Cross of Lead (Crispin), Bud, Not Buddy, and The Skin I’m in.
  2. Use journaling as a way of communicating. Sometimes of the intimacy of conversation is too threatening. Writing notes back and forth in a journal can be a safe way or your teen to communicate his feelings.
  3. Lifebooks. Involve your older child in the process of creating a lifebook of her journey. Be sure to include information about her life before she came to you.
  4. Do the things they love. Whether it’s listening to music, painting nails, or video games, go to where they are and enter into their lives on their turf.
  5. Figure out their love language and slather on the love.
  6. Play games that encourage eye contact. Two player games that require the players to face each other such as Connect 4, Guess Who, and even staring contests are good places to start.

If you’re parenting older kids, what are your favorite ways to connect?

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