Did you do anything fun this weekend? It's a simple question, but it made all the difference for my daughter Monday morning.
Last week I wrote about her rough first day of school. The second day was better (no tears, thankfully), but she was still concerned about making new friends. So my husband and I went Old School. We talked about looking outside ourselves and engaging others in conversation, along with some blah-blah that we parents are so good at.
We encouraged her to ask a single question to someone sitting near her: How was your weekend? Everybody likes talking about themselves. It will work, we said.
Guess what? It did. She came home bubbling with excitement to tell us that she had asked seven people about their weekends. Every time she asked the question, she had had a brief conversation with someone new, and one girl seemed very promising as a new friend. The conversation starter question was a huge success.
It's hard to see our kids struggle, but when they do, it's up to us to give them the tools they need to get past the obstacle and face their fears head on. It's our mission, after all. These tools are even more important for this generation who often communicates in text messages or via social media. They need to be reminded that we all need eye-contact. We all need a smile or a nod that lets us know someone is listening to us. No matter how technology changes, conversation isn’t going away anytime soon.
So if your child is struggling to make friends in a new school or a new activity, offer these suggestions as conversation starters:
I am a regular contributor to The Alabama Baptist newspaper, and I also write and edit for several religious, business and educational outlets through my business, McWhorter Media and Marketing.
One of the greatest privileges of being a writer is the opportunity to share the stories of others with a larger audience. I love to do that!
Sharing my own stories is much more challenging, though no less important to making sense of the challenges of Faith and Family in everyday life.
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