Questions to get your teen talking

We sat down with our Attitude presenters (the youth division of The Parenting Place) and got the inside scoop on what is happening in the world of intermediate and high school students right now. Here are some questions to get great conversations going with them as well as some ‘insider tips’ into their interests.

Jobs

From about Year 11, getting a part-time job may be on your teen’s radar as a way to earn a few extra dollars. Jobs are a great way for young people to stretch their wings and learn important life skills.

  • Do you know how to make a CV? Have you made one?
  • Have you applied for any jobs? Where have you applied to?
  • How many hours a week do you want to work?
  • What are you saving up for?

Fashion

  • What brands are in at the moment?
  • What are the shoes everyone wants or are wearing right now?

Sports

If they’re participating in sports or are looking to this next season –

  • How is training going?
  • When are try-outs? How are you feeling about them?
  • What team are you hoping to get into? Which grade?

If they had a game that morning and you weren’t able to be there –

  • How’d you play? Did you score any goals?
  • Did the training pay off?
  • How was the ref? Did they make any bad calls?

Get to know the sports teams they are following

  • What sports teams are you following right now?
  • Good teams/leagues to know about – Rugby Union (the All Blacks, naturally), NRL, NBA

Friends

  • Who are your five closest friends?
  • What do you do when you hang out?
  • Are you getting picked on?

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School

With each passing year of high school, students get more choice over which subjects they will be taking. The choices are usually related to what they are hoping to get into after school.

  • What subjects are you thinking about picking and why?
  • What subjects are you worried about and why?
  • Are you picking subjects your friends are picking or because you really want to study them?
  • What are you thinking of doing after high school?
  • Do you need my help with anything?

Technology

YouTube

  • What’s the funniest video you’ve watched this week?
  • Have you learned any life hacks?

Social media

These are the most widely-used social media channels right now –

  • Facebook – teens are often part of a number of Facebook groups for sports teams they’re a part of, cultural groups and the like. They may also use Facebook Messenger to chat with friends.
  • Snapchat – users post photos and videos that are available for friends to watch for 24 hours
  • Instagram – a platform to post images – these could range from photos of what they’re eating, to carefully-curated creative photos taken on their phone
  • Instagram Stories – works the same as Snapchat but tends to have more viewers

Gaming

  • What games are you playing?
  • Some popular games right now – Minecraft, NBA 2K17, Pokémon Go

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