Listening and talking are learned behaviors. How your children will communicate with others and you is something they are learning from you. Are you talking with and listening to them every day? About things that don’t matter, not just peppering them with questions? Is your homework done? Is your room clean? Did you do what I asked you to do?
When they are teens it is UNBELIEVABLY important that your teens trust you to listen when they talk. They need to be able to come to you and talk about both the meaningless and the meaningful.
Start young and create an atmosphere of conversation in your home.
I am 17 years into parenting and my teenagers talk with me. Often and about all topics. The reason they do is because I have been talking, asking and listening to them for years. Talk with your kids, do it often, you will reap the rewards when it matters most.
1. What would you make as a punishment for bullying?
2. How would you change school laws? And you can’t say make it go away.
3. What would be the legal drinking age? Explain why and how you think that would impact our communities.
4. What would be the legal driving age? Why? Are there any other laws around teenage driving you would change? What do you think would be the ramifications from changing the laws?
5. What would be the punishment for texting and driving?
6. What time would you make legal curfew for teens?
7. Would you change anything about movies and ratings?
8. What kind of laws do you think should be in place to protect kids from Red Bull and similar drinks?
9. The mayor of New Jersey recently proposed a ban on oversized sodas in an effort to help curb the obesity epidemic. What do you think about that law? Should the government be able to tell you what you can eat and drink?
10. Do you think the President should only be allowed to serve eight total years? Would you change this law in any way?
11. What would you do about the internet? Do you think sites should have ratings? Is there any way to prevent small children from seeing pornography? Are there laws you would put in place?