When our kids were little, many of us would have given our left arm for 20 minutes of silence.
When our kids grow to teenagers… we can’t get them to say more than two words to us!
“How was your day.”
“Anything exciting happen?”
“And Soccer? How was soccer?”
“Same as always.”
“Nice talking with you!”
It happens sometime between middle school and high school. Our kids get an influx of hormones, they seem more interested in hanging with friends than with family… and we can’t pry them away from their stupid digital devices! How can we get our teens and tweens to open up… just a little!
Here’s 5 Quick Tips to Get Your Teenagers Talking:
- Don’t ask yes or no questions. When we do, we’re asking for a one-word reply. No wonder the conversation is short. But this practice doesn’t always do the trick, so…
- Avoid the dull and mundane. Yes, sounds obvious, but consider the conversation above. How many of our kids want to tell you about school and soccer practice? We need to try to be more creative. So try to…
- Think 5 minutes ahead. That’s right. Don’t find yourself asking the same boring questions every day. Think of something new and exciting. If you really want to know something about school, ask, “If all of your teachers were going to be fired but one, which one would you want to keep? Why?”
- Use Controversy. Teenagers have strong opinions. Toss an issue onto the table and see what they think. You can always find something in the paper. “A kid in a rural town up North went hunting with his dad before school, accidentally leaving his gun on the gun rack in his truck and parking it in the school parking lot. The school expelled him because of a no-tolerance gun policy. How is this fair?”
- Hear Them. Don’t just listen… hear! Teenagers have radar for apathy and indifference. If they since that you are not truly hearing them, they’ll abandon the conversation. None of the above tips are worth a dime if we don’t truly listen to the felt needs behind what they’re saying.
For even more tips on building relationships with your teenagers, including questions that get teenagers talking, get Jonathan’s new parenting book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent.
We’re giving a copy of Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent away! Just leave a comment for your chance to win! I’ll randomly pick a winner on July 20th, and post it at the bottom of this blog post!
CONGRATULATIONS TO JEFF WRIGHT FOR WINNING OUR BOOK GIVEAWAY! WHILE THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED, PLEASE KEEP VISITING THIS BLOG FOR FUTURE GIVEAWAYS!
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