Getting your teen to talk

Getting teens to talk can be really tough. When trying to strike up a chat with your young person, it’s possible you might be met by an eye roll, a grunt, or worse, an earpod being put back in. It can be really tricky but learning how to get your teenage talking can make all the difference to their mental health and your relationship with them. So how do you go about it? We’ve come up with a couple of conversational prompts to get you started.

Friends

Your teenager’s friends are some of the most influential people in their lives. Most of the time, they want to talk about them. Don’t interrogate them about who does what and where but find out what their favourite things about them are. Get to know their names and remember them.

Ask your child - “Who are your favourite people to hang out with? What do you guys like to do?”

School

The Sunday night blues are real, and most teenagers don’t jump with joy with the prospect of picking up their back pack and heading to school on Monday morning. But almost all of their daylight hours are spent there, so it’s important to get a handle on how they’re feeling about it and what’s happening there. The things they’re choosing to do now can impact their future, so it helps for you to be a part of that conversation.

Ask your child - “What subjects are you picking and why?”

Picking the right place to have conversations can make all the difference to how they go. It’s pretty likely that your teenager isn’t keen to sit down across from you and fully express every feeling they’ve ever had. But don’t stress - there are heaps of other good spots to get the conversation going. Driving together can be a really comfortable place to chat, because not having to maintain eye contact can put your teen at ease. In the same way, doing an activity alongside them can help them to feel comfortable opening up.

Ask your child - “What’s something you’d be keen for us to do together?”

Advice & guidance provided by our friends at the Parenting Place

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