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Breaking the ice with your teens is no easy task. The worst part is that being they’re your own kids, you’d think that talking with them would be easy!
However, teenagers are changing so much at this stage, developing quickly into their own person. So, you’re not alone if you feel as if they’re complete strangers sometimes.
In fact, many parents struggle to make conversation or even small talk with their teens. However, these moments are key to building a strong, trust-based adult relationship with them.
These conversations allow them to express themselves, and you to learn about, nurture, and accept the adult they’re becoming.
With this in mind, here are great conversation starters for teens to get to know them.
101 of the Best Conversation Starters for Teens
In this post, I’ve included a wide range of topics for you to touch on. Don’t forget; you’re more than welcome to adapt these to your teen’s specific interests, too.
In fact, this would be a really good idea!
Travel, Outdoors & Nature
Do you have a traveler or animal and nature lover on your hands? If so, these conversation starters for teens are the perfect option!
- What’s your dream holiday destination?
- Which country would you live in if you could live anywhere?
- Do you want to travel the world or stay in your hometown?
- Which are the top five places in the world you’d like to visit?
- What was your number one childhood vacation, and why?
- What’s the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen in nature?
- Do you prefer a tropical holiday or a snowy holiday?
- If you could be any animal, which one would you pick?
- Which animal is the best, and why do you say that?
- Which season do you prefer the most and why?
- Which climate would you prefer to live in – hot, rainy, cold, etc.?
- Which three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
- What’s your favorite flower?
Asking about a teen’s goals may not always be fruitful. However, asking questions like this may trigger them to focus on the important answers.
As such, asking goal-based questions like these is an excellent conversation starter for teens.
- What skill would you like to learn, and why?
- Where do you see yourself in ten years?
- What are the top three things on your bucket list?
- Is there a college or university you want to attend?
- What profession do you see yourself being happy in?
- Do you want to own a house one day?
- If you could start your own business today, what would it be?
- Which charity would you volunteer at and why?
- If you could solve one world issue, what would it be?
- What would you change about the world if you could change anything?
- Which historical figure would you meet if you could go back in time?
- Which things have you achieved that you didn’t think you would?
- What three things do you see yourself achieving in your life?
- Pick three positive words to describe yourself.
Social, Friends & Family
Personal details about friends, families, and memories may be a touchy subject. However, these questions will really let you get to know about their inner feeling and relationships.
- What’s your ultimate day with your friends?
- Would you rather spend all day inside reading a book or outside with friends?
- What is the best present you’ve ever been given by a friend or family member, and why is it the best?
- What is the funniest prank you’ve ever played on someone?
- Do you have a celebrity look-alike?
- What is the most embarrassing thing anyone could ever do to you?
- What is your earliest memory?
- What’s the funniest joke you know?
- Which three people would you take with you to a deserted island?
- How did you and your best friend meet?
- What bad habit do you hate the most – snoring, persistent sniffing, or something else?
- Which person that you met changed your life, and why?
Fears are something we all have, not least your teen or teens! Sometimes these can be funny, other times more serious; either way, the answers are very revealing.
- Which is worse, a python or a tarantula?
- What’s your biggest fear, and why is it so?
- What was your most embarrassing experience?
- Are you afraid of anything? If so, what?
- Would you eat bugs for $100,00?
- Do you have a fear of heights, water, or tight spaces?
- What scary thing would you do to save your best friend’s life?
Favorite colors, flowers, films, and songs are so unique to all of us, including teens. At this age, they’re developing their own interest separately from you, so do learn about them!
- Which is your favorite film?
- What’s your favorite color?
- What’s your favorite book?
- What’s your favorite gemstone?
- Who’s your favorite band or musician?
- What’s your favorite genre of music?
- What’s your favorite school subject?
- What’s your favorite song?
- What’s your favorite fruit?
- Which candy do you like the most and why?
- Which is your favorite letter of the alphabet and why?
- Which is your favorite number?
- What’s your favorite sport?
- Who is your favorite actress/actor?
- Which is your number one TV series or show?
Food is the perfect conversation starters for teens to discuss with them during mealtimes. It’s an easy topic to talk about to break the ice and get the conversation flowing.
- What’s your favorite cuisine?
- If you had to choose one meal to eat every day, what would it be?
- Which is your favorite dish at the moment?
- If you could eat any food right now, what would it be?
- What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
- What is the one food you won’t eat and why?
- What is your favorite vegetable to eat?
- Do you like spicy food?
- Do you prefer savory snacks or sweets?
- Would you rather eat at a fine dining restaurant or a take-away joint?
- Hamburgers or pizza?
- Which cuisine would you really like to try?
- What dish that you’ve never eaten would you really like to try?
Wishes & Dreams
Wishes and dreams live in the world of fantasy. But, they’re so necessary for goal-setting, too! Teens need to be able to dream, allowing them to believe they can achieve the amazing.
- If you won $1 million, how would you spend it?
- If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
- If you could relive one day of your life, which would it be?
- How would you decorate your room if you had no budget?
- Which magical superpower do you wish you possessed?
- If you could choose, which year, century, or decade would you time travel back to?
- What’s the one thing you would change about yourself?
- What would you do differently if you could relive this entire week gone by?
- What would you do if you were so rich that you didn’t need to work?
- What would you do if you only had a month left to live?
- What age would you choose to stay at if you could live forever?
- Would you rather be able to become invisible, fly, be immortal, or be rich?
Their preferences tell a lot about the person your teen is becoming. Of course, teens do change and go through phases, too.
So, these are definitely the kind of questions you can keep on asking over the years!
- Do you prefer silver or gold jewelry?
- How do you relax?
- Do you want to get married one day?
- How many children do you want to have?
- Do you want to have sons, daughters, or a mix of both?
- What makes you laugh, and why?
- What do you love to do in your free time?
- Would you rather have a cat, a dog, or a hamster as a pet?
- If you could have dinner with any famous person who would you choose?
- If you could be shorter or taller, which would you choose?
- Which famous person don’t you like and why?
- Which commercial do you find the most cringe-worthy and why?
- Until what age do you want to live?
- What is the one thing you can’t live without?
- Would you rather work in an office or outdoors?
Tips For Making Conversation with Teens
Sure, it’s easy to ask questions of anyone. But, when it comes to teens, the hard part is often getting them to respond!
Not to worry! Try out some of these tips. Hopefully, they’ll bag you a more positive response to your conversation starters for teens!
Take it Slow
If you and your teen’s relationship at the moment is lacking in conversations, take things slow. If you suddenly change your habits, teens will get suspicious and may clam up.
Set Them Up
Purposely going to your teen and starting a conversation may be awkward. So, take an easier route, instead!
Set up a special dinner night, play a game of their favorite sports with them, or go for a drive together. You can then casually start random small talk with them during the activity.
Spill The Beans First!
Don’t want to sound like the Spanish inquisition? If so, you can try answering a question first.
For example, mention your dream destination, how you met your best friend, or your fave color first. Then, casually ask them the question afterward.
You may find that they’ll be more open to sharing as you’ve broken the ice and shared a part of your story.
Self-conscious teens will also feel like the attention is less on them if you talk about yourself first. So, they may respond better to this casual, relaxed, and open way of communication.
Respect Their Boundaries
When kids are younger, it’s often in their best interests to follow your lead. However, as they get older, it’s now your responsibility to let them take the lead more often.
You may be tempted to push your way in and take things quickly. However, I wouldn’t advise this as it can result in them locking you out permanently.
As such, when they don’t want to discuss a topic or answer a question, do respect their boundaries. This will also teach them that it’s ok to say no to anyone, not just you.
In this way, you can nurture them into strong, independent adults. Most importantly, ones who are able to say no to abusive partners, toxic work environments, and bad situations without guilt.
Teach Them How to Talk
How you talk to your teens and converse with them will set the tone for how they communicate with others. In this way, you’re still a leader and can use your life experience to do so well.
Of course, take some time to reflect on your own conversation style, skills, and manner, too. Then, notice undesirable patterns and improve if necessary – it’s never too late!
Those teens may be hard nuts to crack! However, trying out these tips and the best conversation starters for teens may help. Good luck and enjoy!