A few years ago, I had a student in my class who insisted on sitting in the back row, his hoodie pulled up and his arms folded. He never spoke. After a few weeks, I asked to meet with his mother. During our conversation, I brought up the fact that his grandmother had passed away. It was obvious from his writing that she’d meant a lot to him, and it was obvious from his mother’s face that she didn’t realize he’d been so affected.
The more we talked, the more obvious it became that she didn’t know much about her son, not because she was uninterested, but because he was so closed off. Sound familiar? If you want to get your guarded teen to open up, here are 7 things to try.