Do you wish your teen talked to you more?
Do you wish you could get more than an “I’m fine”, “good” or “nothing” out of them? Well here’s a list of open ended questions that will make them think and they’ll have to respond with more than 2 syllables!
- Who do you most want to be like when you grow up? Why?
- Who is your best friend?
- What embarrasses you most in our family?
- What is the greatest fear in your life?
- What foods do you like or dislike the most?
- What is your favorite activity?
- What is your favorite song? Music? Group?
- Outside our family, who has influenced you the most? How?
- What do you like to learn about the most?
- What accomplishment in your life gives you the greatest sense of achievement or pride?
- What irritation in our family bothers you the most?
- What makes you really angry? Happy?
- What do you want to do when you grow up? What made you decide on that career?
- What has been the biggest disappointment in your life so far?
- If you had the power to change anything about the way you look, would you use that power? If so, what would you change?
- What do you appreciate the most about each member of our family?
- What biographies have meant the most to you?
- What do you like to do the most as a family?
- If you could change anything about me, what would it be? (Encourage them to be honest.)
- When you get to the end of your life, what do you want to look back on and say that you accomplished? (you can add for God if you want?)
The answers you get will give you a glimpse into who they are and the direction they are headed. Do you like the influences and what you hear? Don’t get overwhelmed and filled with guilt if you are surprised or concerned with any answers. Don’t freak out in front of them either. Listen…..and listen some more. Have a calm dialog and offer some of your answers too. Focus on one or two and work towards change as a family or steering your teen in a healthier direction. Don’t use their answers as weapons later either or else you will ruin your chance at open conversations in the future. Be a little sneaky if you need to, but most importantly validate their feelings and enjoy learning more about your child. I imagine some of the answers may hurt, but that’s ok, take it as a chance for you to grow too.
I hope this list is helpful and you can get your teen to open up and have a conversation with them. I find the car is a great time to talk because they can’t escape! Hopefully you can find some 1:1 time with them, even if you have to make it happen by taking them shopping and to meal all by themselves. They will appreciate and value the fact that you spent time with them, I promise, even if they act like they hate it. Good luck parents! Teens can be tricky!