(Inside: Do you want good conversation starters for your teens? Or great questions to ask your teens to help them open up to the family? Read on…)
Conversation Starters For Teens
Moms want to connect with their teens. We want to know what our teens love and don’t, what’s going well and isn’t, how they best feel heard and loved, and about their friendships, school, and life.
We want to know how they think.
We want to know what makes them happy.
And I could keep listing because the truth is we want to know everything about our teens – we want to know who those sweet babies that we carried and nurtured and rocked are growing up to be.
Teens Want To Be Known
Similarly, teens want to be heard. They want to be seen, loved, and wanted by their parents. Even when they are at their worst, they still want their parents to pursue them, over and over telling (and showing) them they are worthy and loved.
Connecting With Our Teens Can Be Hard
However, life isn’t flawless. Teens can hold it together all day and fall apart when they come home, their moodiness tearing through the house with unbridled force. Or they find themselves lost in stress, or emotions or impulsiveness or self-sabotaging or apathy. But, as moms, we don’t buy any I-don’t-need-you signs. Not even one pennyworth – our teens long to connect with their families.
A Simple Way To Connect That Your Teen Will Like
As my sons grew older, I wanted to add tools to my box of ways to connect with them. In my high school classroom (I’ve taught for 20+ years), I’ve noticed that when I put students in small groups and had them answer anywhere from dumb to ridiculous to basic to thought-provoking questions, kids came alive. They loved sharing their thoughts and flourished in the framework of the presented questions. So, I took this idea home and found my quiet sons opening up with these conversation starters – be still, my heart.
Asking The Right Questions Is Key To Teens Opening-Up: Conversation Starters for Families of Teens
But not everyone feels like opening up at all times. Some teens love to jump into all the talking, while others need to warm up. So, these conversation starters include a variety of questions like…
- Expected get-to-know-you questions: If you could interview someone who is famous, who would that be?
- Yes-or-no-quick questions: Is chili a type of soup – yes or no?
- Get-to-know-their-world questions: What’s the best YouTube or TikTok video you’ve watched lately?
- Get-to-to-know-their-friends questions: If you were planning a cross-country road trip from Florida to Washington State, which three people would you hope would go with you? Tell me why you chose each person.
- Reflective questions: You come home super stressed, go into your room and lie down on your bed. You flip on a song – which song is it?
- Insightful questions: If you were told you had to switch friend groups, which peers at school would you like to get to know more?
- Faith questions: What do you understand about the trinity?
- Plus, questions about quotes, scripture verses, deep topics, tricky subjects and more…
400+ Conversation Starters for Teens Are Broken Into Three Categories
Then these questions are broken into three categories, depending on how deep you want to go with the people involved in the discussion:
- 200+ Fun Get-to-Know-You Questions: Great for enjoyable conversations between friends, among extended family, or for low-stress evenings.
- 100+ Dive-Deeper Questions: Designed for close family who wants to really get to know each other. There are hard subjects and personal topics covered in these conversations starters.
- 100+ Faith-Filled Questions: These questions were created to help everyone reflect on their faith journeys and connect over deep discussions.
How To Use The Conversation Starters For Families Of Teens Resource
I’ve found the most success with these questions when I’ve made “a thing” of it. Meaning, just like when we’ve declared family movie night, we plan a family discussion time where everyone is prepared to talk. Here are some ideas of what this could look like:
- Dinner discussion: We’ve cut up the questions and put them in a gallon-size ziplock bag. Then maybe every Tuesday is “talk night.” Each family member draws one question to ask the group and discuss.
- Evening Activity: Instead of playing cards or watching a movie, grab some snacks and get comfortable and everyone picks a number. Those are the questions that you ask each other.
- Car rides: When you’re riding to church or the store or a game together, maybe you pass the time with a question.
- And more: There is no right or wrong way to implement the question asking – the purpose is to get to know each other. If teens are asked, they usually have good ideas of how to roll out fun and some would like to lead when/how the questions are asked.
The Goal Is To Connect Over These Conversations For Families Of Teens
Remember, the goal of the conversations is for those involved in the discussion to connect. So even if it’s not all going perfectly, if everyone is talking and laughing and getting to know each other – we’ve nailed it.
Here are 12 Conversation Starters For Families Of Teens for your family to try…
1. What’s that one funny thing that pops into your head when you’re supposed to be serious (at church, in class, at a funeral) that will make you laugh every time?
2. Is chili considered a soup? Yes or No. Is lasagna a casserole? Yes or No.
3. Would you rather be someone who makes a ton of money but isn’t sure if you made a positive
impact on the world or someone who made very little financially but touched many people’s lives?
4. When you’re having a terrible day, what do you do to calm yourself down and shake the stress?
5. If you just got elected governor of your state and you could make one rule that the whole state had to follow, what rule would it be?
6. If you were taking a road trip from Florida to Washington state, which three non-family members would your take with you?
7. What’s a bad habit you wish you could break? Or which bad habit do you have, but you don’t care one bit about giving it up?
8. What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten? What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
9. What’s the class at school that has the best environment? What’s the subject you find the most interesting? Which class do you have the most friends in?
10. What age do you think is the best to be? Why?
11. What is your favorite app on your phone? What’s one app that you really should give up?
12. Would you rather own your own business with some risk but more earning potential or would you rather work for someone else and have a stable income that covers your expenses but not much more?
If you liked those questions, grab the full list of 400+ The Conversation Starters For Families Of Teens…
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Read the Full Raising Tweens and Teens Series
My oldest son started high school last week and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler.
Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but not parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.
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How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
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I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.