We had an amazing discussion last night in middle school group that I want to share.
One of the kids talked about noticing that kids in school were shutting him down and making fun when he brought up the topic he is intensely interested in. This led to a lot of self aware commiseration and some insightful problem solving. Some of the important ideas the kids came up with included:
1. The importance of noticing how what you are saying sounds to the people around you.
2. Sometimes it's not what you talk about but how you talk about it. Did you change the topic or work your interest in to the conversation in a natural way?
3. The technique of remembering interesting things you've read or seen or heard to use as conversation starter alternatives.
4. You don't need to change what you are interested in, just how you communicate about it.
5. People like it when you talk about their interests too. This will cause them to want to talk to you more.
6. Try to notice whether your interests are shared by your peers, or more older or younger kids. Find some kids who share your interests even if they aren't the exact same age.
It was great to see the kids asking for, and offering each other support and the benefits of their experiences!