podcast show notes | episode 022 | getting teens to talk
This blog post serves as SHOW NOTES for our podcast — Cultivate a Good Life. This is not a comprehensive outline of everything discussed in this specific episode. The notes, links, and tips below are just some of what was mentioned. Everything we’re highlighting here will certainly make so much more sense when you’ve listened to this episode. If you haven’t already listened, you definitely should. And you should also just go ahead and subscribe to the podcast. It’s good stuff.
We are joined by Wendy Howe and Kari Holt — two members of our BH Team — for a discussion all about cultivating opportunities for teens to open up. We discuss strategies and give you tools you can use now to have more meaningful and engaging conversations with your kids.
operation underground railroad
Episode 022 is sponsored by Operation Underground Railroad. Founded by Tim Ballard in 2013, OUR is committed to put modern-day slavery to an end and to shine a light on the global epidemic of child sex trafficking. They partner with local law enforcement agencies around the world to rescue and help children who have been taken or who are in danger of being taken into slavery. We urge you to become an abolitionist by donating what you can to help cover operational and aftercare costs.
Visit their website: ourrescue.org
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Developing a relationship with your teens where they are having meaningful talks with you is crucial.
Ask your kids intentional, direct, and specific questions.
Ideas of what to ask:
- What was something that brightened your day?
- Did someone serve you today?
- Did you serve someone today?
- What was something you noticed about your teacher today that was kind of cool?
- What was something that you noticed about someone that kind of bugged you?
Give yourself a pep-talk and prepare a response so you don’t freak out and shut down the communication.
Choose not to be shocked, no matter what. Or know you can be shocked later with your spouse or a friend.
Prepare yourself to talk to your teens by being prayerful.
When you don’t freak out, you become a safe place for your kids.
Recognize the differences in how your kids communicate and know it’s okay if one child doesn’t want to communicate the same way as another.
Honor the differences in the way your kids communicate.
A back and forth journal with your child (or even your spouse) is a great way to communicate with someone who doesn’t love to verbally talk about their feelings.
Do an activity with your teen that they love and it will open the door that leads to better communication. An example is singing together in the car.
Be available to talk with your teens whenever they want to, even when (and especially when) it’s inconvenient.
Be upfront with your kids when you’re having a bad day.
Don’t be afraid of silence.
Do something non-threatening when talking to your teen, such as running or eating. (Here’s a link to the “Food is a Love Language” episode Kari mentioned.)
Don’t shy away from difficult topics with your teens.
Make daily connections with your kids so they will open up to you when they really need to.
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