Do you miss the time when your child used to talk to you non-stop, sharing everything from what happened at school to the bug he found and rescued on the way home? If you do, then chances are that your child has entered the pre-teens and gone are the times when you had to make your child stop talking to have a snack after school. It may make you sad to wonder if your child isn’t close to you anymore. However, it’s very normal for any child to go quiet and behave like a total introvert at some stage of life. You, as a parent might have to make an extra effort for your child to open up to you, have them share their stories and hang out with you more often. All you have to do is develop strategies that would help in the long run.

Here are a few tips that will help you with this:

Become your child’s friend: We all heard the saying “be a parent not a friend” to your child but let’s not take that too literal. When you get a chance to hang out with your son or daughter for any reason, try to recall the little details from the last conversation you had with them. Ask them something about their best friend or the book they are reading for school. Remember, a gap in conversation is created due to the uncomfortable and awkward exchange of words that your child might not be ready to hear or simply might not be able to digest. Become their friend and ask them like a friend would.

Follow up daily: Getting your child to talk to you can feel like a job in itself. When you finally succeed, try to follow up on a daily basis so that your child knows that you are taking an interest in what is going on with their life. This will also make them want to come to you for advice and suggestions later when they need it.

Make time for their hobbies: There’s always something that every child is very passionate about. Make sure you take time out to sit with them and talk to them about it. Apart from talking, you can also come up with activities related to it and do it with them so that it generates interest in them and keeps their passion alive. As our kids enter their pre-teen years, it may be inevitable for them to want their own space. However, it’s important that we remind them in any form of way that we’re always there for them. They may seem a little distant at times and it may be hard for us to accept, but don’t worry – they come back around!