I have 2 teenagers ages 17&15, and if you have teens in your life you know they have different personalities. During their teenage years, they are growing, learning a lot, bodies are changing and doing different things. They may have mood swings, and during the teenage years they go through many life transitions. Hormone changes etc. It is very important to talk, ask questions and stats connected.
so, as parents we have to be proactive and ask them questions to get them talking, make sure they are comfortable communicating with us, and letting us know when something is wrong or if they just need to talk to us.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up child in the way he should go; teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Make sure you’re laughing and talking to them regularly about things other than; what has to be done around the house etc. Watch movies, talk about their favorite things, have helpful conversations that relate to teenagers, talk about life, dreams and goals (theirs and yours). Have fun!
I’ve learned a lot along the way raising kids, and I learned that for my family, just asking questions like…”Are you ok?” doesn’t always work because most of the time they will just say yes.
I’m not an expert but, here are a few helpful questions that I feel have worked in my household to keep the communication open.
Questions for parents to ask their teens to help communicate with them:
- Not a question, but I always start by acknowledging and speaking before asking anything or demanding them to do something. (we have to remember just because you’re the parent, you don’t have to come off with a demanding tone, kids are people and they have feelings) Ex: “Good Morning, how are you feeling?” this is helpful in setting a good tone for communication.
- What do you feel good about today?
- Would you like to watch a movie together?
- What did (insert favorite YouTube etc.) post today?
- Is there anything you need from me today?
- What subjects are you looking forward to in school this year?
- How was (insert sport or extra curricular activity)? What did you do in Dance today?
- Now that you’re starting or almost at the end of your high school career, how do you feel about college?
- Are you still interested in being a (insert career)?
- What would you like to eat for dinner? I feel this is important because, my children eat totally different! My oldest is a really picky eater, and always has been so, he only eats certain foods. My youngest, she’ll pretty much eat whatever with exception of a few things. I never liked the saying “you going to eat whatever I cook.”
- Do you have ANYTHING that you want to talk to me about or if you don’t feel comfortable talking, text or write it?
BONUS: I know a lot of parents don’t like this next one lol, and I used to be that parent that wouldn’t dare say this next word when talking to my kid….say PLEASE when asking your kid to do something…yes, I know you’re the parent/boss right, but remember the kid is a human and deserve respect even from their parents.
EXAMPLE: “(child’s name)Will you please take out the trash?” instead of (child’s name) go take out the trash! I know they have to do what you ask, and they’re going to do it anyway, but we need to be respectful even to our kids. This helps build a healthy child:parent relationship in my opinion.
Anxiety and depression seems to be common in teens these days and I have 1 child that has had episodes of both, so I definitely changed up the way I parent a bit along the way. Everyone’s parenting will be different, we definitely probably are not parenting the same way our parents’ did and that’s perfectly ok. Times has changed and we are learning better and more efficient ways to raise our kids to better fit their personalities.
Look for cues to see if the kids feel like talking, kind of feel out their mood. We all know our kids and you know before you or them say anything, if they are a little off that day. That way you know if you need to approach them differently in that moment.
Hope these questions help, of course there are a lot more questions and other suggestions on the internet.
Here is a post on planning your teen’s Birthday on a budget.