The Essential Conversations You Need to Have with Your Kids Before They Start High School
An excellent guide for helping teens navigate the challenging times we are all facing today.
By Michelle Icard
Trying to convince a middle schooler to listen to you can be exasperating. Indeed, it can feel like the best option is not to talk! But keeping kids safe—and prepared for all the times when you can’t be the angel on their shoulder—is about having the right conversations at the right time.
From a brain growth and emotional readiness perspective, there is no better time for this than their tween years, right up to when they enter high school.
Distilling Michelle Icard’s decades of experience working with families, Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen focuses on big, thorny topics such as friendship, sexuality, impulsivity, and technology, as well as unexpected conversations about creativity, hygiene, money, privilege, and contributing to the family. Icard outlines a simple, memorable, and family-tested formula for the best approach to these essential talks, the BRIEF Model:
Relate to your child
Interview to collect information
Echo what you’re hearing, and give
With wit and compassion, she also helps you get over the most common hurdles in talking to tweens, including:
• What phrases invite connection and which irritate kids or scare them off
• The best places, times, and situations in which to initiate talks
• How to keep kids interested, open, and engaged in conversation
• How to exit these chats in a way that keeps kids wanting more
Like a Rosetta Stone for your tween’s confounding language, Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen is an essential communication guide to helping your child through the emotional, physical, and social challenges ahead and, ultimately, toward teenage success.
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Also tips for starting conversations with your teen.
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