School has started. You have a routine, somewhat. The initial buzz of your teen catching up with friends, starting sports, and so on, has now faded into the reality of quizzes, tests, and homework. Let’s not even get started on the “drama” that goes with it all.
So how is your teen doing? Really doing?
This short post is to encourage you as a parent to intentionally plan time with your teen this week to find out how his or her life is going?
Let me give you a few tips on how to get into his or her world:
- Your teen is probably busy too, so discuss today when would be a good time on a week night or this weekend to catch up. Indicate openly that you really want to find out how school and life is going?
- Incorporate food somehow (Not to escape reality, but to prompt discussion).
- Go to a neutral, semi-private or private environment your teen is comfortable in at home or outside the home.
- Start out talking about the fun and trivial happenings of school startup.
- Find out who your teen’s friends are? What your teen especially likes about those friends? What they enjoy doing?
- Talk about school and activities. Is your teen doing his or her best?
- What goals does your teen have?
- What are the challenges/struggles in his or her life right now? Share appropriately one of yours (Not putting down your spouse or others in the process).
- Spend time doing something your teen likes doing.
- Find ways to specifically encourage your teen verbally. Recognize the steps of growth and maturity. Thank him/her for the improvements.
- Ask open ended questions, like “What do you think it might look like for you to reach out to Bobby this week?” “Anything I can do to help?” Or, “If you were to pursue your best in this class for God’s glory, instead of just trying to get by, what would it look like?”
- How is your teen doing in his or her faith? Is he/she growing? Where and how does Jesus fit into everyday life? How can you help with this.
Although the teen years can have some challenging times, and some gut wrenching times, they can also be full of awesome light-bulb moments, incredible victories, and just plain fun. I do believe though, to experience more of the positive, godly moments with teens, it requires us as parents talking with our teens regularly, intentionally, and outside the heat of a wrong decision. Find out how your teen is really doing.
If you want or need other topics to discuss, the first nine chapters of Proverbs outlines multiple topics.