Maintain your teen’s interest and foster a deeper connection by incorporating these “Questions to Ask to Connect with Your Teen” into your conversations. Discuss the following topics, from the song they can’t stop listening to right now to what they would change about the country if they were president, and watch your bond grow stronger.
Conversations with your child as they approach their teenage years may feel less like a relaxing picnic and more like a wild ride on a roller coaster. Sadly, the days have passed when kids would regale you with stories about Pokemon and slime. These days, you are more likely to be met with eye-rolling and attitude than any sort of desire to converse rather than being told stories about Pokemon and slime. But just though these less-than-pleasant occurrences are commonplace in the lives of teenagers, it doesn’t indicate that your teen isn’t interested in developing a relationship with you.
Continue reading for additional advice from our experts that can help you navigate the murky waters of communicating with your teen and some fantastic questions to get a conversation off on the right foot.
Find the Appropriate Moment for a Conversation
Oftentimes, teenagers are aching to spill the beans but are waiting for the appropriate moment to do so. In any endeavor, timing, and strategy are crucial. Most teenagers have been aching to spill the beans for quite some time, but they have been waiting for the appropriate opportunity.
Not only does the tough exterior of most adolescents tend to disguise their want to share, but adolescents might also be especially prone to suffering in silence when confronted with adversity brought on by life’s curveballs. When checking in with your teen’s mental health, experts advocate taking a direct approach rather than beating around the bush, which can be frustrating to teens. This is because teens can find adults talking in circles tiresome.
Be aware of the signs.
You may have to do some investigating, but you should make an effort to recognize the oblique signs that your teen is interested in having a conversation with you. You will probably be excluded from the conversation if you do not try to look for these non-verbal indicators.
According to Rosenberg, “you may notice that your kid is ‘testing the waters’ by talking about some of the insignificant things that are going on in their lives.” “When they act in this manner, they are frequently testing the waters to see how you would respond. This is an excellent place for parents to get started.”
Give people somewhere to feel safe from criticism.
Keep in mind that reacting with shock at even somewhat upsetting news or life facts shared by your teen is counterproductive if you want them to continue opening up to you. Providing a safe, judgment-free space is a great method to encourage communication between you and your adolescent.
Therefore, you should think about asking questions rather than making a snap decision without first gathering more information. Ask your adolescent child what they think about it, as this is the most crucial question.
It is important to engage in active listening.
When conversing with teenagers, it is important not to be dismissive but also not to be overly eager. Maintaining such a precarious equilibrium is not an easy feat. However, getting your kid to talk about their lives by actively listening to what they have to say and practicing active listening methods is a great approach to accomplish this.
David Grammer, a licensed family therapist who works with Grammer Family Therapy, says, “The single most effective way to get a teen to open up is to listen attentively and then paraphrase what they’re saying.” This is one of the suggestions that Grammer makes.
As you get better at reading between the lines, you’ll be able to figure out what your teen is really saying, even when it seems like they’re complaining or grumpy. This will help them feel heard and understood, encouraging them to open up more and teaching them the emotional vocabulary they need to share their thoughts and feelings. Over time, you’ll have a keener ability to decipher your adolescent’s true feelings, even when it sounds like they’re just whining or being grouchy.
Avoid direct eye contact.
If you put this secret tip into practice, you will rocket to the top of the teen parent superstar list. Because adolescents will frequently avoid making eye contact when discussing a topic that they find challenging to articulate, create an environment in which they are free to do so.
Use a time when you won’t be able to make eye contact with your teen by following their lead. For instance, while you are driving, your focus should be on the road ahead of you, but your teen can talk to you while looking out the window. You might also suggest that you and your adolescent go on a walk together. This would force you both to focus on the path before you rather than on each other. Providing a safe place like this can help youngsters feel more comfortable talking about their feelings and problems.
Questions to Inquire of Your Adolescent
What do you say to your teen once you’ve finally reached the point where you can have a meaningful talk with them that is also risk-free?
According to Grammer, “direct communication is particularly important to adolescents.” Therefore, you should not be hesitant to ask direct questions such as, “How are you feeling?” or “I’ve observed you seem down or melancholy recently, want to chat about it?”
The following is a list of some terrific questions that you may use to help get your teen talking and keep them talking.
- Where on earth would you choose to make your home if you could pick any location in the world?
- I was wondering if you still use TikTok or if you’ve moved on to using something else in its place.
- How would you describe the ideal day for you?
- I noticed you hadn’t spent much time with (a friend). What exactly is going on with them in this day and age?
- I’d like your thoughts on (a specific current event news report) and if you could share them.
- What steps would you take to improve the country if you were President?
- What is it that scares you the most?
- What is your go-to cosmetic or personal care product?
- How would you characterize me as a mother or father?
- Give an example of something that brings out the best in you.
- I’ve been looking for some decent new shows; can you recommend any?
- Do you ever feel alone?
- When you’re feeling depressed, what are some things that help you feel better?
- How do you react when a close friend urges you to do something against your better judgment?
- Which course are you most excited about this year?
- Which song do you enjoy listening to the most?
- Which of your childhood memories do you cherish the most, and why?
- What would you do if you lost something valuable?
- Which would you rather live in, the city or the country? Why?
- What do you think it is about you that I like the most?