There is nothing more important in our relationships with our teenagers than having open communication. When I had younger kids, I thought this would be so easy for me…I’m such a talker! In reality, it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be! Now that I am on my almost third teenage boy, I thought I would pass along some conversations and prompts that might be helpful for you.

Every Tuesday, I will be sharing a conversation, a conversation starter, or questions to get you talking with your teens about the important stuff. Sometimes they will be practical, like today. Other times, they might be about current events that help them engage with the world and think about issues bigger than themselves (which is so important for all of us!!). Here is today’s, which happened a few days ago in the car.

M: Hey, when was the last time you saw or heard something that made you uncomfortable?

T: What do you mean?

M: You know, an image, video or a joke or a conversation that didn’t feel quite right.

T: Oh. A few weeks ago I was searching for something at school on Google and I clicked on images because I thought it would be helpful. There was some stuff there that wasn’t good.

M: Oh yeah. That happened to me too the other day! (normalize it for them!!) Images can be so sketchy no matter what I am looking for. So, what did you do?

T: I just closed it out and did a regular search, which was fine. I’m not going to click on images anymore.

M: I’m glad you felt strong enough to do that. Did it make you curious or did you feel like you wanted to see more stuff like that?

T: No, not at all. It was just weird.

M: Okay. I know when I was a teenager, some things were weird but I was still curious about them. You know if you are ever interested, confused or curious that you can come to me and we can talk about it. Right?

T: Yeah, I know.

M: You know Google is not the place to go, especially if you have questions about your body or sex or things like that because you will probably get way more than you were planning on?

T: Yeah.

M: You are awesome.

These conversations always start out a little bit awkward, but they are worth it! Keep talking to your kids! Let them know you are there and that you love them and that the feelings and thoughts they have are NORMAL! It might be hard, but I know it is worth it.