May 242017
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Struggling to find ways to connect to your older kid? If so, below are very simple and easy ways to make effort to connect with your child. They grow so fast, and before you know it they will be off to college! It is so important that you get in time to connect with your kid when you can! 

No matter what your child’s age is, they still crave love and attention. So that is the main thing, just make time for them, listen if they want to talk and be there! The best way to raise a child is with love! Below are easy ways to connect to your older kid, ages 8-12. 

Simple Ways to Connect With Your Older Child

If they are being quiet: If you see they are being extra quiet, try to get them to talk. Ask them about something you know they are interested in. Maybe a video game, movie that they love, or something else. Showing you care and trying to help them if they are having a rough time, without coming right out and asking can help them a lot. 

Ask How Day Was: Even if you only get a one word answer, it shows them that you are interested. One day you might be surprised and get a little story of something cool that happened! 

Be Spontaneous: Make sure to do things on a whim! If your child has been good maybe head to your local frozen yogurt shop for a treat. Do something that you don’t normally do, to give yourself more fun time with your child. 

Ask for Help: If you have some outside chores needing to be done, ask for help. By doing it together you can have a little time with each other to connect. Rake up the leaves and jump in them like you did as a kid. Or let them help in the kitchen as you make supper. Do whatever you can see let them get hands on and spend time with you. 

Let them Choose: Have them pick out something they want to do for the weekend. Maybe they want to watch a movie that is coming out, play mini golf, or go to the skate park. Whatever it is, let them get to choose something fun for the family to do. 

Play time: Go shoot some hoops outside, play a board game, or whatever else your child likes. Make sure to make time for fun activities. Nothing is better then seeing your child laugh away and have a good time! 

Say Goodnight: Make sure as you go to bed each night, you say good night to your kids. Tell them how thankful and proud you are of them, give them a hug and tuck them in. All kids love praise! 

How do you connect with your kids?

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  96 Responses to “Easy Ways to Connect With Your Older Child (Age 8-12)”

  1. I love these ideas. I try to get him talking to me in the car and we play hoops sometimes.

  2. I love these ideas because I know it can be very hard to connect with your teenager. I’m very close to my son right now but as he becomes a teenager I want to make sure we stay that close.

  3. I would like to stay close to my teenager. I really like a lot of the tips you have here I think one of my favorites is ask them what they want to do on the weekend.

  4. These are great tips! I need to show this to my friends with older kids

  5. These are all absolutely perfect suggestions for parents. I have realized as my kids have grown into their 20’s that they still want to hear me say goodnight, that I love them and that they make me proud.

  6. These are great tips. It’s important to remember that the older kids get, the more choices they want to make.

  7. I try to take every opportunity available to me to have real conversations with my kids. I also game with them. Your kids will tolerate you if you game with them. LOL

  8. These are great tips. As kids get older it can be more difficult to communicate.

  9. Even when kids are older they still like it when you connect so I think that doing something spontaneous is a great idea. Especially if you let them choose x

  10. My son is almost 16 and he is a huge gamer. There are times when i feel really disconnected from him. I have to work at finding ways we can connect with each other.

  11. I like these strategies. I think asking for help is always a nice way to make them feel needed and it’s fun to work on things together.

  12. I love these ideas. My daughter is 10, and I do some of these. We especially like shopping together. And eating.

  13. It is so important to find ways to connect with your kids. These are great tips. I like the be spontaneous one.

  14. I love that these options show that you care without being too pushy or controlling. Emotions are tender at those ages!

  15. These are such great tips. I’m glad I’ll have such great resources for when I have children

  16. Great idea to try to talk to them about their interests. A lot of shy kids will get very talkative if you ask about their favorite TV show, latest art project, etc.

  17. I have two teens and only one of them can be a little challenging to connect with. I try to ask her about topics she’s interested in. One thing I do to stay connected with her is taking her with me to go shopping or attend events. She always loves going places with me. Every time we’re in the car she starts talking and talking. I have found this is our perfect time to stay connected. Great post!

  18. I just got done playing a game of Go Fish with my 9 year old that I didn’t really want to play. But love to a child is spelled TIME. So I do and I have fun with him. We need to be sure in our busy days, that we are saving some time for our kids.

  19. I have an eight year old (soon to be nine) and we’re entering into the time of trying to find herself. She’s growing up so fast, and these are great tips to remember when it comes to making sure that we stay close.

  20. As my daughter gets older, I don’t want to lose my closeness to her. These are some great tips to keep close.

  21. These are great ways to connect with your kids. When I notice my Son is being more quiet then usual I always go and talk with him.

  22. These are good tips for the older teens too. I try to incorporate most of these into my routine with my 17 year old daily.

  23. These ideas are great. It’s important to keep a connection with your kids as they get older.

  24. This is SOOO important! They eventually reach an age when they almost don’t want to be a part of your life! These are such helpful ways to get through to them, especially ones where they think they’re the ones making the choices!

  25. Love that you mentioned to let them choose! This is such a great way to let them feel like they are being treated like an older person instead of a little kid!

  26. It is so vitally important to stay connected to your kids. My sister-in-law just recently had to have her child put in Brenner’s because she was trying to commit suicide. It all stemmed from the fact that she was not talking and no one knew what was wrong.

  27. It is so vitally important to stay connected to your kids. My sister-in-law just recently had to have her child put in Brenner’s because she was trying to commit suicide. It all stemmed from the fact that she was not talking and no one knew what was wrong.

  28. Letting them choose is a great way to connect with older kids. My son loves to sit in my car and play DJ by controlling the music we listen to while I’m driving.

  29. Love these ideas! My niece is 9 and she is almost at the too cool stage – devastating! I’ll take some of these and put them into action!

  30. Letting them choose, saying goodnight, and interacting with them are all great ways to connect with the child! 🙂 At least I used to like those ways when my mom did it for me! haha 🙂

  31. While I dont have an older child yet … this is a great read for all my girls who does. I am definitely sharing. I am due for ours soon and still find this a great read.

  32. My youngest is 12 and I always ask him about his day after he gets home from school. It’s usually a one-word answer so now I ask him to tell me something new he did or learned.

  33. Do they have to grow up? My son is getting so difficult! I don’t know what to do

  34. Keeping an open dialogue with teens is so important! These are all great ideas. I like to send little text messages about having a great day or other personal messages when I get the chance. I always get a good response from those and then we can have a better talk in person later in the day.

  35. My daughter is 7, but these are tips I’ll definitely keep in handy. I ask how her day was when she gets home from school, and she either goes on for hours or keeps it short and sweet. Either way, I’m glad she’s opening up to me about her day.

  36. Great tips, these. I find doing an activity that they like really helps them open up too.

  37. Really great tips! Connecting with preteens is really important. These tips would be really helpful!

  38. I try to remember to ask my girls (who are older) every day how their day is. And then really listen, which can sometimes be hard given distractions.

  39. My oldest is 38 and my baby is 30. Most of these tips can actually apply to them as well. Their circumstances are different. I still tell my children that when they are too quiet, I know something is wrong.

  40. I always try to be spontaneous with my godchild (8), because he thinks it is more fun. He loves surprises!

  41. These are really some good tricks to keep the coming teenager bond along with you. Also, maybe for Indians, helping in their homework without scolding them would also give a major part of bonding with them.

  42. Seeking help from them would make them feel needed and important. Playing with them can also allow you to bond with them while having fun.

  43. I needed to read this. Mica’s been a struggle lately. He’s just going through a lot of hormones, or something. I need to try harder to not get annoyed, and just enjoy him.

  44. These are all great ideas! I will try each of these with my kids.

  45. I really liked your point around ‘How was your day’ question. I ask that question to my husband everyday and it does magic and I am sure it will work wonders with kids as well.

  46. such good ideas! I think when youngsters come along it’s easy for the eldest (speaking as one) to feel pushed out. Even now I’m 26 and moved out my dad still makes effort to spend time with me, and me alone 😉

  47. These tips are great. Even little things during the day can make such a difference.

  48. I’m always looking for new opportunities to interact with my children ages 13 and 21. I often get their opinions on decisions that I’m trying to make so that they feel like they are included too. Something as simple as having them help me figure out which photo to share on Instagram makes them feel extra special .

  49. I try to spend some time with each of my kids to catch up on their lives and just bond with them without having to compete for each other’s attention. I think these are all lovely ideas that’s worth trying.

  50. I don’t remember being too connected to my parents when I was in high school. Time changes that relationship dynamic though.

  51. It is better to have an open communication with our kids from the start when they are teenagers it is a little hard to talk to them since they are influenced by other environments!

  52. One on one time is definitely the way to go. These are all great tips to get that time to connect.

  53. My oldest just turned 8 in March and I am finding it hard to relate to her. I am going to try out your tips to open up our conversation.

  54. These sound like some great ways to connect with your child – I can image as they grow older it is harder to do.

  55. We have 4 kids, so my husband and I take turns taking a kid out on a date each week. Something small, go get a hot chocolate, or a treat at the local bakery, but everyone loves the one-on-one time and the opportunity to sit and talk.

  56. These are great and so simple but so important ways to connect wit your child. Saying goodnight to your child is a special way to connect. My son is 12 and very outgoing so we don’t need to work too hard thankfully.

  57. points well noted, Robin. I will certainly need to remind myself again as my by is turning 11 this year..

  58. My kids are way older than that age group. However, when they were that age, we did love to go to the park and play same basketball.

  59. These are good tips! I’ve been there too with my kids!

  60. These really are fun ways to connect with older kids. It’s always hard to get Tyler and Alyssa to open up, they always want to stay on their devices. I’ll have to use your tips to try to get them more connected.

  61. Excellent ideas – I discovered how to get my son to visit a bit more at that age – very similar to your tip of talking to him about movies – and also books he was reading – always a bit difficult otherwise!

  62. I did most of these when my kids were that age. Asking them for help in the kitchen is a great way to start a conversation. Now that they are all grown, it sort of became a habit that when I am in the kitchen, they offer help and then start talking about their day at school. 🙂

  63. These are such helpful tips! I will be using these once I have children and they get to that age.

  64. These are great tips. I know sometimes kids can be very difficult to talk to.

  65. I don’t have any kids but I still find this article super helpful.
    Would love to share this with my friends in need 🙂

  66. Love your ideas! I do similar things with my boy! We still bond and do things older kids usually don’t like to do! I’m not looking forward to the time that he won’t want to enjoy couch time with me anymore!! They grow up so fast!

  67. It’s really important to connect with your teen. There’s so much going on in their lives that we don’t know and it’s important that we show them that we’re there in case they need us. I like these suggestions.

  68. I like that you mentioned saying goodnight in this post to older children. They appreciate it just as much as anyone else! 🙂

  69. Staying connected with your child as they get older is harder to do (or so at least my friends tell me as I do not have kids) it is important to find ways to stay connected with them as their tastes, friendships and lives are starting to change as their veer towards independence.

  70. We enjoy one on one dates with the kids, and I have found these times to be most important for my oldest. It is during one of these dates, whether it be an hour or a few, that we get a chance to really connect.

  71. These are interesting. I have a nine year old, but he is a non verbal autistic. I do try to engage him in many of these ways, even though he can’t respond. He likes to hear about my day.

  72. I dont have older kids but my nephew is 12. He is getting to that age where he is not talking as much and getting a little recluse but I am finding opening up to him and asking him lots of questions make him talk.

  73. I dont have older kids but my nephew is 12. He is getting to that age where he is not talking as much and getting a little recluse but I am finding opening up to him and asking him lots of questions make him talk.

  74. I know when I was that age I spent a lot of time alone in my bedroom and it wasn’t generally because I was unhappy but because I was happy in my own company x

  75. Both of my kids are in that age range and these are all great ideas to keep the communication open and get closer to older kids.

  76. These seem like some great ideas. My girls are only 4 and 5 but I will keep these in mind for when they get a little older. We have great relationships now and I hope they continue that way.

  77. Saving this link for my future reference and also will share this to my mommy friends. Definitely a must read.

  78. This is an awesome post with great ideas. My son is 11 and stays mostly in his room playing video games. We have movie night every Saturday and cuddle up on the couch together eating popcorn. He does help with yard work but every chance he gets, he sneaks off lol

  79. It is at this age range that kids are learning to keep things from their parents. I think the reason is because they are still trying to process or understand it themselves. As a parent, I made sure the lines of conversation is always open. They can tell me anything under the sun and when they make me promise to keep it a secret, I do keep it a secret. You have to build trust so they will feel free to approach you and have “the talk” when the need arises.

  80. I always found bedtime and car rides the best opportunities to get with our older ones. They do talk and do open up so if you are just starting to reconnect it takes tiem but the relationship will change for the best

  81. Thank you for these tips. I have an 11 year old daughter who always thinks that I love her brother more than her.

  82. So, I know this is super “simple”, but I really LOVED the saying goodnight idea. Its something that can really be meaningful and close out a day nicely which could truly make (anyone) feel special!

  83. These are great tips. My son is only 9 months old. I cannot wait until we can do all these special things together, but for right now, I will cherish the little moments. <3

  84. This is a great list! I’ve a 2nd grader and we talk in the car on the way back from school and sometimes, we stop at the park for him to play. One on one time is so important.Saying good night every night is a ritual.

  85. Great suggestions. Getting your kid talking about their day can sometimes be a challenge but once you get them started, they will won’t stop sharing. I also always say goodnight and spend some time with them at bedtime.

  86. These seem like great suggestions! My oldest just turned 9 and she loves to help me, if I ask. If I don’t ask, she typically retreats to her room 🙂 I need to work on asking more!

  87. Such great tips. I don’t have kids but a niece who is that age. I need to pass this along or use it when she is over.

  88. These are great tips! My eight year old daughter tells her dad all about her day everyday but doesn’t share with me unless I ask specific questions!

  89. I have two sons in these age ranges you mentioned and I pretty much do most of the ideas you offered. Open communication is very, very important between parents and their kids. I value that in my children.

  90. My children are all way past the age, but when they were in that age range, it was a challenge for me to make them open up and speak about their day. The only one that worked was to call them to help me in the kitchen. Just the two of us there sometimes help because it is sort of like a “private” moment for us.

  91. These are really good suggestions. We have to stay connected with kids to reduce the possibility of depression, which is increasing nowadays.

  92. These are great ideas. I already feel like I am starting to utilize some of these with my 5-year-old as I try to cultivate our relationship.

  93. after school we always talk about what we did that day. i find it the best time to talk with my kids.

  94. I’ve found that our teens like to escape into their phones and hide under their headphones. When I pick them up from school, I tell them to take their headphones off (that’s to and from school) so that we can talk or even listen to music on the radio together.

  95. I have no kids right now but this post is very helpful. I might forget this in the future but I’ll let my friends read this so they can easily relate. I guess it will be a lot different to deal with when its my time.