Saturdays at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) are great days for kids. Perfect winter escape if you live in NYC or plan to visit with your family.
I am the father of two teenagers. One is talkative and gregarious, the other quiet and reserved. One is easy to communicate with, the other not so much. With the quiet one I have learned an approach to communicating with him that has taken time to develop and requires patience and tact.
When raising our children we often tried to encourage them to look adults in the eye when they spoke. And while I still think this is the most polite way to communicate, when you are trying to speak with a teenager substance is always more important than form. Sometimes not looking directly at each other is the best way to get a conversation rolling.
What works for me? A good walk, outdoors, in a natural setting. In other words, take a hike. There is something less confrontational, more pleasant and relaxing about walking in an open space. Whether you are in Central Park in the middle of NYC or circling Radnor Lake in Nashville Tennessee, a good hike out doors takes the pressure off.
What else do I do? Ask lots of questions. With the quiet one, I have found good questions and even more quietness on my part is the most effective way to get him to open up and allow us to connect again. With questions (versus statements) I can learn more about what he is thinking, help him draw him out, challenge some his conclusions, but all in a way that avoid confrontation and allows us both to grow.