Have you ever had a moment where you’re doing your best to strike up a conversation with a group of teenagers but getting nowhere? Take heart: You’re not alone. And even better: There’s help available.
In a recent IdeaLab video from YouthSpecialties, Jonathan McKee (author of an awesome book: The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers), shares his top 3 tips for how to get your teenagers talking. The full video can be found below, but for those of you with short attention spans, here’s my Cliffnotes version:
- Turn over-reaction into interaction. When teens do or say something wrong, and your immediate reaction is to flip out or over-react, what they take away is: “Don’t talk to him.” Or when you get a glimpse of the music they’re listening to or the videos they’re watching, rather than condemning their “less than Christian” choices, use those videos or songs to start a conversation (and maybe even connect it back to God).
- Move from lecturing to listening. Sometimes we need to just learn to shut up — Create dialogues not monologues. If we don’t give students a chance to talk, they’ll never be able to ask for help.
- Seek conversation springboards. Figure out what THEY like to talk about. Music, YouTube videos, sports, etc.