Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Let me just put it out there! I am nosy! I am too nosy for my child to tell me, “my day was good” when I ask about her day! I am also on high alert because she’s in her first year of middle school and I know how middle school can be!
I was also noticing that some homework wasn’t being completed, she wasn’t prepared for her test, and her agenda wasn’t being used effectively! I was not ok with this and I needed to aggressively act fast!
Clearly there was a problem and I needed to fix it.
I created business meetings before getting into homework. I usually get home after her so I leave her sticky notes on things I want her to do before I get home like; picking out her clothes, having a snack or packing her gym bag, just a few things to unwind. Therefore, when I get home I can unwind then start our business meeting.
During our business meeting I take notes on our conversation. I start with “so tell me about your day?”. From there we meet for about an hour, she is able to process her day, I learn information like her favorite game to play in gym class, she’s able to recall class work that needs to be finished as homework that she didn’t add to her agenda, I am also able to stay on top of things or people that are bothering her and I feel like there’s a better connection between me knowing how her day was at school and knowing where to give her more support and guidance.
When she tries to give me a short answer like, “nothing really”, I ask “so what does nothing really look like?” I keep asking questions in a playful manner so she won’t shut down and I’ll have the true response that I need!
These are questions/ statements that I ask to make sure I stay on top of my middle schooler:
1) “So tell me about your day”. When speaking to your middle schooler think of how your get more from a conversation than having an interview. This also leaves the door open to be an active listener, let them do all the talking.
2) “Can you tell me who mad you laugh today?” Asking about laughing helps with connecting their day with different emotional triggers. I am also aware of gossip girls, the guy that I need to keep my eyes on as well as who’s in her clique aka friends. I ask about every emotion to see if there are events during her day that she may not want to discuss.
4) I ask about specific class periods. This can get a little tricky but beneficial as a parent. This is also the place it’s most important. By asking specifics about each period you’ll find out about homework and incomplete work that is now homework and upcoming test. I take full advantage this during our business meeting.
Here are few benefits to our business meetings.
1)Time for us to chit chat, including things unrelated to school
2) My child looks forward to having this time with me to herself
3) I am aware of what’s going on at school as well as in her classes
4)I have an idea about the company she’s keeping at school.
Our business meetings are new but helpful! I suggest you try it! You’ll thanks me later!
Are there any tips or tricks you would like to share on how you stay on top of your middle schooler???