Conversations on the Go: Communicating with Your Teenager

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Source: fact sheet by Jamie Seger, OSU Extension Program Assistant, Miami County

Clever Questions to Keep Teens and Grown-Ups Talking

teensIf you find yourself drawing a blank every time you have the opportunity to have a conversation with your teens, uset the following questions as ice-breakers:

  • What was the nicest compliment you ever received from an adult?
  • What was your first memory as a little child?
  • What does the word respect mean to peers at your school?  To teachers at your school?
  • How would school be different if kids made and enforced the rules?
  • Name someone younger than you that looks up to you.  How do you know that he/she looks up to you?
  • What’s the biggest way someone has made a positive difference in your life?
  • What are the best places to hang out in town?  If you could create the perfect hangout, what would you include?
  • Have you ever had a friend whom you later realized was a bad influence on you?  .How did you handle it?
  • Who is your favorite musician?  What do you like about his/her music?
  • What is your favorite family time together?
  • Do you think it’s important to have separation between church and state?
  • How do you know when someone is watching too much TV or playing too many video games?
  • Would you rather be in a class that deals with a subject you love with a teacher that is boring, or would you rather you aren’t excited about that has a passionate teacher?  Have these situations happened to you?
  • Describe a time when you gave something your best shot and it still wasn’t good enough.  Why is it important to give something your best shot?
  • What is the hardest part about school this year?  Is it homework?  Getting assignments done on time?  Test?  Class participation?  Getting along with classmates?  What makes that hard?
  • Was there ever a time when you had to stand up for something you believed even when your friends weren’t behind you 100 percent?  What was it, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • When you die and people are talking about your life, what do you want them to say about you?
  • Is it possible to have a world in which every person has equal rights?  What would it take to get there?
  • What is your favorite motto to live by?  What are some of your favorite quotations?
  • What is the biggest problem facing your generation?
  • Name three things that you really, really believe in that might surprise people.
  • Do you try to imagine how other people feel when deciding on an action to take?
  • Are you comfortable around people who are different from you?  Why or why not?
  • If you could ask any four people to dinner to have great conversations, who would you ask and why?
  • What is the trait you like most about each member of your family?
  • What does it mean to have personal power?  Are you born with it, or do you grow it, or gather it, or discover it in yourself?
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