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Ever since my daughter started Middle School she will not tell me anything about school! When I ask her how she did on tests or how it’s going with friends all I get is one word answers. Any suggestions?




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Question: How do I get my 11 year old to talk to me?

Ever since my daughter started Middle School she will not tell me anything about school! When I ask her how she did on tests or how it’s going with friends all I get is one word answers. Any suggestions?


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Advice from School Family and Our Experts

Lisa @ School Family writes:
Hi Sibby-
I think Jillian is right - most teens go through the same thing... not that this makes it any easier when you just want to have a normal conversation with your tween or teen! Here's an article that you might find helpful. It focuses on how to get kids to open up about school and then gives tips by age group on how to communicate with your kids. Have a Conversation About School
OK parents of tweens & teens, lets hear your tips!
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Community Advice

Mom2BK writes:
I am a middle school teacher and I hope you find comfort in the fact that your daughter keeps good company – I’d say this is true of most middle schoolers. With that said, there are ways to get this age group to open up. Timing and approach is everything. When your daughter gets home from school she probably just wants to decompress, so don’t bombard her with questions then. When she’s had time to relax and refuel , then try asking her open-ended questions about things that you think they’ll be excited to talk about. For example, if they like science, ask if they are doing any interesting experiments this week. Steer clear of only asking about grades and test scores.
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Community Advice

demidoggy writes:
I try to spend some time with my boys doing something they like to do, like shooting hoops, tossing the baseball or even playing some video games. I find that I can often sneak in some conversation while we are playing. I also try and get someone to join me while I walk our dogs - we start talking about the dogs and often end up talking about other stuff too! Perhaps there is an activity that you can share with your child, like going to the gym or taking a class?
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Community Advice

ladybug writes:
At some point maybe before school your daughter and you lost that connection and closeness. Do not fear it can be rebuilt. There is a awesome book, called "Five langages of love for children". By Gary Chapman. There may have been something that see feels like she can not tell you, so be gentle, not to pushy or negitive. And if she opens up remember when you were young. Do not be shy to talk to her about what changes are going on inside her, it can be scary. Don't shy away from talking about sex. Many parents make that mistake and the kids suffer. Please step up, and make sure she understands the consqueases. And fill her in on boyz, what tell are focued on. Believe or not kids are having sex in ELEAMENTRY SCHOOL. Help her to love herself, and not to rely on others. Watch her eatting habits. Look at her assoicates!! Have friends changes. Keep your eyes open.
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Community Advice

padmaja writes:
build up a rapport. dont straight away ask her to share her routine.share your experience of what you used to be at her age,what you thought of your teachers. share with her about books, TV programmes. let her feel as a friend. She should feel that You are part of her world.She will surely share her feelings when she trusts you.
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Community Advice

Andrews writes:
Teens as well as pre-teens are going through a lot of changes and a new school is just one of many. Sometimes all we see is what we want from them, not the whole picture. I know that it is exciting to see your little girl growing up but we need to practice what we preach. One of the hardest things to do for any one is to have patience. I would suggest waiting for her to come to you. I have 8 children and they are all different. I don't know your little one but I had children that couldn't wait to tell me things as soon as they walked in the door all through high school while some of my other children were using their independence in Kindergarten. When she doesn't jump right into the conversation, don't take it personal. Start your own conversation about your day and then gradually ask her simple questions about hers. If you have a good relationship with her, she will let you know if there is a problem so don't worry. Just have fun with your new stage.
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Community Advice

mom2dcb writes:
Although this is not what others are saying, I believe you have to ask those open ended questions as soon as they get home. If I wait until after homework, or after dinner, my son always says "I don't remember." But when I start 1st thing, I get the details. Also let her know that the sooner she gives details the sooner she can get on with her homework and then the fun stuff. If it takes 5 min, great -- if it takes 30 min, that cuts into her personal "fun" time. My son knows after a snack the 1st thing he does is homework. Once that's done (and I've checked it to make sure) he can call his friends and play video games. That's the rule. Don't ask "how was your day?" or you'll get that "Fine" answer. You have to ask specifics. "What did you do in Math?" "What chapter are you on in Science?" "What homework do you have in English?" "What questions did you have trouble with on the Geography test?" You just have to get creative and ask those probing questions.
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Community Advice

julier1596 writes:
I have a 12 year old daughter and she went through the same thing I would simply ask how was school or did any thing intresting happen in school today and I always got the same answer I don't know this answer would frustrate me but I never let it show and I kept asking every day I never gave up and one day she siad I hate school the kids are mean and the teachers don't do anything about it they turn the other way and act like they don't care and the ones that do give advice say to just stay way from the mean kids. Thats when I realzied that she hated school so much she just didn't want to talk anything about school afterwords. We still have days that she don't want to talk about school but when she does feel like it she always fills me in on all the good and bad things going on in school. So my advise would be don't give up and don't show frustrastion just let her know your door is always open if and when she feels like talking.
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Community Advice

BLI writes:
Be patient, she's a tween, she's discovering who she is and she's going to need a little space, Keep the communication line open, her one word answers are ok, when it changes to no answer, be worried, she's probley hiding something. let her know you are there when she needs you, not if, but when because she will need you. Don't be pushy or frustrated, you will only push her away, she will talk to you when she needs to and when you least expect it.
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Community Advice

Abbycakes101 writes:
In middle school you have to wait a couple days (or weeks if it's a big test) to get your results back. That might not be the case with her but it was for me. And when they get home from their last day and don't have a report card don't be worried they are hiding it the school will mail it to you. :)
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Community Advice

alexis12 writes:
im 11 to just take her to do somthing she wants to do under one conditon get her to talk
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