Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers #91 – Ask Good Questions

Continuing our thought on communication. LISTENING is always extremely important, but with teenagers that means you have to get them to tell you something. That’s not always the easiest thing to do. Do you ever get the feeling that just by asking “How was your day?” you’ve asked the most ridiculous, annoying, inappropriate question possible?  Welcome to the challenging world of teenager/parent communication. If you can get past the mistake of doing all the talking and really listen, you’ve made huge progress. The next step, is asking good questions that require more than just one word answers, shrugs, or grunts. Asking questions lets them know that you want to hear what they have to say, not just an opportunity to correct them again or say I told you so. Good questions asked at the right time help teenagers think through their actions, process the decisions they’ve made, and consider the resulting consequences.

Good questions give teens the opportunity to be treated like young adults rather than children. Starting open-ended questions with words like How, Why, What will help get them started talking.

Here are some Good Questions:

  • What was the worst thing that happened today at … (school, work, sports, drama, etc.)
  • Who did something funny today?
  • What was the absolutely best thing that happened today?
  • What surprised you most?
  • If you could change any rule at school what would you change? Why?
  • What question do you wish someone would ask you? Who?
  • What’s your favorite song, artist, book, right now?
  • How did you hear about that song, artist, book?
  • If you were 10 years older right now, what would you want to be doing?
  • If you could only choose one class, teacher, sport, coach, club, etc. which would you choose? Why?
What are some of your favorite questions? Which ones have helped you begin deeper conversations?

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”
James 1:19 (ESV)

 in HIS service,

Pastor Mark

P.S. The blog titles and main ideas come from Walt Mueller’s book “99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers”. I personalize and modify the message, and also add Scripture.

You can read past posts on our church website HERE.