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GETTING DEEP. Questions to initiate a real conversation with your teenager.

Updated: Jan 25

As parents, we like to think the lines of communication with our child(ren) are always open and honest, but sometimes, that isn't always the case. If you would like to start a REAL conversation with your teenage child, ask them one or more of the questions below. You may be surprised by their answers. If nothing else, you have opened a dialogue, and perhaps, each of you learns something about the other.  Ongoing, meaningful communication between kids and parents is one of the most powerful factors in supporting teen mental health.

Let your children know you hear them. They already know you love them!

Questions Parents Can Ask To Better Understand their Child

1.    What worries you most about becoming an adult?

2.    Do you think my description of you would match your description of yourself?

3.    What is the one thing you don’t think I “get” about you?

4.    Do you think you will parent your child the same way I parented you, if not, why?

5.    Are you optimistic or pessimistic about your immediate future?

6.    What is the most embarrassing thing I do?

7.    If I was growing up with you now, do you think you would be friends with me?

8.    What would you like to learn how to do?

9.    Is there anything you want to know about me, but were afraid to ask?

10.  Do you think you and your siblings were treated fairly? Do you think I favored one child over another, or one brother/sister had it harder/easier than you did?

11.  Do you think I praise you too much, or not enough?

12.  If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

13.  What has been the most difficult situation you have found yourself in? Was your first inclination to ask me for help, or deal with it on your own?

14.  What are 3 things you want to accomplish in your life?

15.  What qualities do you admire most?

16.  What makes you feel energized?

17.  How would you deal with a bully? Do you think you would intervene if you saw someone being bullied?

18.  Are you satisfied with the quality of your friendships and the number of friends that you have?

19. Who do you fear disappointing more – your friends or me or yourself?

20. What makes you feel brave?

21. What do you look forward to when you wake up?

22. Do you feel you grew up “privileged”?

23. Do you think I am too involved in your life? Do you feel you grew up overprotected? Or do you think you had the freedom to experience and learn?

24. Do you consider yourself a happy person? Do you think happiness is overrated?

25. If a friend asks you to keep a secret that you do not feel comfortable keeping, what would you do?

26. Do I put too much pressure on you to be successful?

27. How would you describe me to someone who does not know me?

28. Have you ever done something you were uncomfortable doing, but you did anyway because you felt pressured to?

29. Do you feel it is more important to fit in than be yourself?

30. What do you think motivates your generation more – making money or being happy?

31. When you are asked how you are, how often do you answer truthfully?

32. Are there topics you really feel uncomfortable discussing with me? Why do you think you can’t share what they are?

33. What are you passionate about? Are you concerned about global warming, race relations, politics? Or is there something else your generation is most fearful of?

34. Do you agree with some people who think your generation is focused too much on themselves and not on the world around them?

35.  Rate the following in terms of what causes you the most stress -- Friends, Family (home life), Relationships, School/Academics/Job, Appearance/Image, Future.

36. What helps you cope with hardships/obstacles? Do you think you have positive coping mechanisms?

37. Would you answer this question honestly? I sometimes have suicidal thoughts.


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