Almost every day I hear one or more parent tell me that they are having difficulty getting conversation started with their teens. A “How was your day?” is met with silence. “Tell me about your classes” is met with a blank stare. Parents all over are trying so hard to talk to their teens. I’ve been mulling this difficulty over and with the help of the parents and teens that I speak with – I have some good topics of conversation. Of course, you have to first see if your teen is in the mood to talk, if your teen is busy with something else, and whether or not you are available both physically and mentally. For a good conversation to take place, both parent and teen need to be present and mindful.
So here are some favorite topics that don’t seem to lead to arguments:
1. Show interest in your teen’s photo collection. Teens are always taking photos.
2. Ask about the music that they like and even ask to listen to it.
3. Teens sometimes like the question “Tell me about the drama at school” especially if it doesn’t involve them.
4. Ask to see the fruits of their hobbies and clubs.
If they are into pottery or any other hobby, look at what they’ve made recently. If they are part of a club, ask about how things are going.
5. Ask about their volunteer work or after school jobs.
I guess that the bottom line is that you want to show interest in activities other than school. I can assure you that your teens think that all you really want to hear about are their grades and that is not true, right?