Empowered teen

You have a teen and you want to help them. The problem is that you can’t always help them. Sometimes you can’t fix the situation for them, but you can talk about it with them and help them find a resolution without handing it to them.

Equip yourself to help empower them by asking these questions when you’re having a conversation about an obstacle.

1: How are you going to tackle that?

This one can be hard for a parent because you’re not telling them what to do, you’re giving them the option of how to deal with it. Watch the wheels turn inside their head as they think out an answer.

2: What are you thinking?

Do you need to strike up a conversation? This is a great question to get the chat flowing. Make sure you stay neutral or on the fence while they open up to you. If you judge or cut them off they can close off fast from you.

3: Want to chat about it?

This is another great way to get a conversation flowing; you’re giving them the chance to talk to you. It’s putting the ball in their court. Don’t be surprised if they say no, but it leaves the option for them to come to you when they’re ready to talk. Don’t demand that they talk to you now; it’s going to close off that open window you have left for them.

4. Have you thought about your choices?

This can give them the option to talk about their options out loud and think about them more in depth.

5. I’m really pleased you’re dealing with this.

This one isn’t a question, but it’s going to boost their confidence. Almost any child wants to know their parent is proud of them. Letting them know that you are is going to help them.

6. How does that make you feel?

If they’ve told you something, this is the follow-up question to lead to a more in-depth conversation.

7. I’m here if you need me.

If they don’t respond to any of the last six tips, letting your teen know now that they have the option to come back will help significantly in having them approach you if they need you.