Parents, you know that teenagers are hard to talk to. They give you short answers, no answers, or just noises. So, I thought that I would give you some conversation starters to help you and your teens communicate more efficiently. People love to talk about themselves and their dreams, goals, plans, and beliefs. So why not take advantage of that insight and use it to get some dialogue flowing with your teen. So here is the first conversation starter.
“If there were no risk, what would you try tomorrow?”
This is a great question to get dialogue flowing. It may jam their developing brains up at first but it will soon get them talking. Why? Because they have dreams that we as parents have no clue about. They have dreams hidden in their brains that stay hidden and locked away because of fear, rejection, or lack of information. I would love to take credit for this question, but it is a guy by the name of Ken Coleman who asked this question first. I ask my students this question all the time and it always is fun to listen to them dream outloud. It is exciting to see them open up and expose their dreams to the light. It is a great exercise for them and it empowers them to overcome fear and objections.
Now parents, please watch what you say in response to this question. You may have the tendency to reply with something negative, DO NOT DO IT!!! Just listen and watch them. See if they light up, see if they get passionate, see if they have a dream concealed from you. It is not a time to offer criticism or to try and redirect them. It is a time to shut up, listen, and observe them. Ask follow up questions to encourage them to dig deeper into why that is their dream. This is not a conversation about your thoughts but about the dream but the opportunity to gather insight into your teens brain, passions, and thought process. So take this opportunity to ask the question and observe them.