Talking to Your Teen: Conversation Starters (page 2)

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Updated on Feb 12, 2013

Conversation Enders

  • "How was school?" This seems like an innocent query. But teens often hear it right after they get home and need to decompress – just like you might need some time to relax after a day at work.
  • "Why didn't you tell me kids were drinking at that party?" Adolescents shut down in the face of confrontational questions.
  • "That must have made you mad." Teens hate it when adults assume how they will feel about a situation, Powell-Lunder says. Instead say, "That would have made me angry."
  • "The exact same thing happened to me when I was your age." The way teens see the world, no one else has had the same experiences they have. A better approach is to relate a story from your own adolescence. For example: "My junior year I had this friend whose girlfriend was really harsh on him. It was so hard for me because I wanted to help him but I didn't know what to do."

Teens need and want to have trusted adults to confide in. Becoming a trusted adult takes time and effort. But if you establish a relationship with your teen, he'll see you as someone he is not only comfortable talking to, but enjoys sharing conversation with.

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