Parents Tips: Best Conversation Starters for Teens
Best Conversation Starters for Teens
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What Do Parents Usually Worry About?
Communication between parents and kids often deteriorates during the teenage years. Thanks to the age of technology, the communication gap between parents and children is bigger than ever. Tough work schedules for parents and a demanding academic and social life for teens further adds to this gap. Even though modern parents are catching up with technological advances much faster than their parents, the 21st-century kids are still a step ahead. Modern children are also very articulate and do not hesitate to communicate if compared to the past. However, they might not always choose to open up about what truly bothers them. Most of them appear to live normally but what goes on in their peer groups and online lives remains concealed from their families.
Just like teens, more and more parents are also struggling to talk to their kids. There just aren't enough common things between them to talk about. Therefore, to help parents break the ice, this article will guide them about the best conversation starters for teens.
How to Start a Conversation With Your Teens?
It's not only hard to raise the teens of today but also talk to them. They can be the most challenging group of people to communicate with if they don't wish to. However, getting them to talk is not impossible. Here are a few very easy conversation starters for teens that require little to no effort.
1. Make a topic jar. Fill a jar with topics written on pieces of paper and make sure that the topics are conversation starters. For example, it could have something like, "what surprised you today?" The person picking out the topic would be responsible for starting the conversation. If you'd like to make it more centered around the digital world, the topic could be something like "suggest any new websites, apps, etc.," or "what caught your eye on social media today?" Such conversation starters for teens are very effective if you're looking to get a peek into their online lives.
2. Try to facilitate their feelings, not block them. Teenagers go through a lot of tough phases, especially because of their peer groups. However, they are also very smart about their reaction to it if a chance is given to them. Always comfort your teen instead of turning against their friends. This could be a reason why your kids hesitate talking to you because they would fear your reaction when they themselves needed help with their own reaction to the situation.
3. Talk about things they like. Most parents usually commence conversations with something they're interested in. While it isn't one of the worst conversation starters for teens, it isn't the best either. Teens need an outlet for their worries and already struggle to speak about them. Talking to them about what you like is only going to make them quieter. Know where their interests lie and talk to them about it. For example, ask them about when their favorite band is performing next.
4. Take them out to their favorite place at least once a week. There's no better way to start a conversation than hanging out to their favorite place. Go for meals or shopping, even if you don't plan on buying anything. Teens are more likely to talk to you openly when they're relaxed.
5. Try to speak less and listen more. You don't have to keep chit-chatting all the time to get them to talk. Keep some space for them to speak, too, by leaving some silence so they can find the opportunity to fill it.
What Kinds of Questions Can Parents Ask?
For most parents and teens, the conversations begin with "how was school?" but more often than not, they also end with it. This is because it's such a generic question to ask that your teen is not even going to bother telling how school really was. Try to ask more open-ended questions or rephrase them into something your teens would find credible enough to answer honestly.
1. Instead of "how was your day?" try saying, "Tell me about your day." By doing so, you're not limiting the topic to the "how" part only but encouraging them to talk about the "what," "when," and "where" too. If used correctly, it could be one of the best conversation starters for teens.
2. Ask something about their romantic interest. Instead of explicitly asking who they're dating directly, try making it fun. Ask them something like, " so tell me about your new crush these days." However, before asking such questions, make sure you have the openness to talk about it. If you don't, try creating it.
3. Know more about what they would like to do in the upcoming vacations with something like, "Tell me any five things you want to do this summer."
4. There is always a need to know what your teens are doing online and not just in real life. Try asking open-ended questions like " what's new on social media these days?". This not only keeps you up to date with any growing trends but also helps you get a peek into what your teens are into these days.
5. Even though open-ended questions are a great way of getting your teen to open up, you may sometimes need to be more direct too. For example, with questions related to their future like "Have you thought of what to do after high school yet? Need any help?".
However, do not restrict yourself to asking questions only. There are other ways to start conversations, too, like by sharing something you went through as a teen to help them relate to a situation they're going through right now.
All Teens Need Parents' Attention
Parent teen conversations are important now more than ever. Your kids are going through one of the toughest phases of their lives that have the ability to either make or break them. Their teen years define their lives to a great extent, and it is during these years that they need to know you love them no matter what. But also learn to draw a line between loving them unconditionally and allowing their problematic behavior. Your little efforts into understanding your teen could save them a great deal of trouble. Teens find a lot of experiences overwhelming, even if they are not as serious as they may think. It is at that point that you need to step in. Sometimes all they need is for someone to notice and tell them that it's going to be alright.
FamiSafe Also Cares About Teens' Life and Safety
FamiSafe is an application exclusively for parents who find it hard to talk to their teens. Sometimes, even if you try your hardest, your child will not open up about what's bothering them. They might have a plethora of reasons behind it, or they just may simply not want to talk out of embarrassment or fear of not being understood. In that case, the best way to figure out what's going on in their minds is to look into their online activities. FamiSafe helps you check their search history in any mode.
- Web Filter & SafeSearch
- Screen Time Limit & Schedule
- Location Tracking & Driving Report
- App Blocker & App Activity Tracker
- YouTube History Monitor & Video Blocker
- Social Media Texts & Porn Images Alerts
- Works on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Kindle Fire
It also detects any doubtful keywords from their posts, SMS, Facebook messages, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, and so on and notifies you in real-time. This could greatly help you understand if there is anything that requires your immediate attention. Moreover, you can also track any risky video titles or comments on things your kids have liked or subscribed to. There are a number of categories on the application like "bullying," "violent," "sex," etc. where you can add corresponding words. As soon as your teen types any of those words anywhere online, you get notified.
Although the aim of the article is to help you start a conversation with your teen, remember not to use everything at once. They are meant to be the starting points of your conversations with them but how you choose to continue them is up to you. They could either develop into detailed, in-depth conversations or no conversation at all. In both cases, learn to be patient as your child might have their own way and time to open up to you once you have taken the first step. Be empathetic, thoughtful, and honest instead of authoritative all the time.
While you have the right as a parent to know everything going on in your child's life, give them space and independence they need, or they'll become overly dependent on you even for the slightest inconvenience. Last but not least, be respectful of their autonomy and interfere only as much as needed. Your child doesn't want you to come to school or talk to their principal for every little trouble they face. Sometimes, they can handle it better than you.