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Surprising Teen Conversation Starters | The Family Alchemists

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Updates on The Family Alchemists

Hi Friends, When I created The Family Alchemists in 2018, I had a really big vision and mission of connecting people to the resources they need to grow. I have so many amazing professionals in the Conscious Parenting space as friends and was determined to help them...

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One of the hallmarks of conscious parenting is the tenet that our children are their own divine independent growing souls with their own agendas. They may need our love, guidance, support, and affirmation for their soul’s journeys; but they do not need our projections. That’s why we have to do our emotional work and be fully responsible for our own thoughts, actions, and feelings, so that they can be responsible for their thoughts, actions and feelings. Knowing how to communicate our thoughts and feelings may not come naturally which is why it helps to have some communication models.

 

Communicating consciously to build a happier, meaningful and more satisfying relationship with our tweens, teens and young adults means we must listen as non-judgmentally as possible. Listening this way affirms that our teens are own person. They occupy a different social location than adults which means they have a unique personal and cultural perspective. But many of us, did not grow up with healthy communication role models. Consciously practicing co-creation communication skills may help us honor our teens’ journeys. Co-creation communication is simply a mindset and skillset that engages teens and parents to be fully responsible for building the relationship.

 

To open this kind of communication the skill of open-ended questioning may be helpful. Sociologists and journalists use an interview technique called open-ended questions. This skill may help us get to know our teens in a different way. The following are a few open-ended questions you can use to start conversations. Remember the purpose of this exercise is to simply listen and learn.

 

Open Ended Question Examples

Open-ended questions, don’t direct the person being interviewed to answer any specific way. Open-ended questions are phrased in a way to require more than a yes or no answer. Each question is about a specific area of teen life and has a sample follow up question. As you practice open-ended questions, listen and learn conversation starters you will come up with your own natural follow up questions.

 

Social Life

1.) Who do you consider to be your best friend right now?

a.) What do you like best about ______ (name the best friend)?

b.) Do you hang out with ________ at lunch?

 

School

2.) Tell me about your favorite class today?  Or,

3.) Tell me about your least favorite class?

Tip: This is not a conversation about homework or grades. Teens are more likely to respond to coaching about homework if they believe you are interested in how they feel about school.

 

Leisure Time or Hobbies

4.) What do you like to do on weekends when you have alone time?

a.) Is there something you would like to do with your friends that you don’t have time or money to do?

5.) Who is your favorite artist, singer or band right now?

a.) What do you like about them? This may lead to an invitation to listen to music.

Tip:  Don’t by-pass this opportunity.

 

Family

6.) What would you like to do with the family this weekend?

a.) What bugs you the most about your little sister?

 

Tip: Be prepared for the answer without jumping into advice giving. This is the perfect opportunity to compliment your teen’s sibling relationship. You may want to say something like this, “Thank you for not yelling the other day when Ashley went into your room without permission.”

Personal Development, Health or Spirituality

7.) I have been trying to meditate, how do you best re-charge your batteries after a stressful day at school these days?

8.) I have been working on eating more vegetables, do you have a health goal to share?

Practice

If it feels awkward, try again. Then next time you are alone together, try again. Relationship building is hard work and it takes practice over time.

 

Tip: Ask these questions casually. Teens might feel put on the spot if they feel interrogated or think they will get in trouble for their answers. One mom shared she has these conversations in the car when traveling to school or after-school activity. When teens are not required to have eye contact, they don’t feel interrogated or threatened by open-ended questions.

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More conversation starters:

FREE: How To Finally Get Your Child To Listen And Act By Understanding Their Development And Getting The Best Behavior Out Of Them… Even In The Hour Before Bedtime. Yes, Really.

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