Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 3421 Communicate with your child Students in the upper elementary grades are starting to think more independently. They are more involved in outside activities and their peer group is becoming more important. As a result of these changes, children who once shared every detail of their lives may start distancing themselves from adults. While this is normal, it can make communica- tion more of a challenge. When parents ask “How was school today?” they are likely to hear “fine,” “boring,” or “okay.” Although communicating with your child may now be more difficult, it is important that you make the extra effort.  Show interest in what your child has to say. Remove distractions and take the time to really listen. When parents show that they’re truly interested, children will usually open up.  Timing is important. Be available to listen when your child wants to talk. Also, look for times when your child is likely to be open to conversation (right after getting home from school or before going to bed). A particularly good time to talk is when you are driving in the car. You’re not facing each other, it’s quiet, it feels safe, and you are spending the time together anyway.  Tell your child what you want done, instead of what you don’t want done. For example, instead of saying “Don’t leave your backpack on the couch” say “Please put your backpack in your room.”  Don’t be afraid to apologize or to admit you were wrong. Children need to know that it’s okay to be wrong and that it’s okay to make mistakes. Children also need to learn that it’s important to take responsibility for your actions, and to correct your mistakes when- ever possible.  It’s often easier to talk to your child when you’re doing something you both enjoy. Make time for one-on-one activities such as cooking, taking a walk, watching a game, or going out for ice cream. These are all great ways to spend quality time with your child. They are also excellent opportunities for conversation.