Need a list of ideas for conversation starters for your young teen or tween boy? I did, so I sat down and made a list. I thought this list would be helpful to other moms so I’m sharing.
I have three boys, one is a new teen and my middle is a tween. It’s getting harder and harder for me to talk to my older two boys yet I want to be there for them as a mom. At times, I feel them pulling away from me so I have come up with some ideas to get them to open up to talk with me, even if it’s just about lunch or friends. Talking about trivial things will help keep our conversation streams going so they will feel more comfortable talking about more topics with me. I want them to feel they can share important or scary stuff with me too.
Since I have boys, my mothering experience is with boys but this list may work for girls too. It’s worth a try, right? This motherhood gig is often about trial and error.
Often my boys will answer my questions with a short quick answer. Sometimes they will add another sentence after they think for a moment. There are times they will open up and add several sentences and the next time they give short, cryptic answers. Mix in some kid hormomes and what works one day won’t work the next day, so it’s good to have an arsenal of conversation starters in your back pocket. Either way, we are talking and I’ve met my goal even if only in a small way.
I find talking about what they ate (because my boys love to eat!) or what their friends did is a great way to start the conversation. Once we are talking about one of those topics, transitioning to asking them a question about their own day works because the original conversation didn’t start out with a personal question about them.
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In this post I have ideas for the following conversation topics. I include conversation starters about:
- their school day
- social media
- sports practice
- time spent with friends
- texting conversations starters
- texting about sensitive topics
Conversation Starter Questions About Lunch
What did you eat for lunch?
How was lunch?
Who did you sit with at lunch? What are they up to these days? Do they still play (fill in the sport)?
Did you sit with the same kids you usually do or different kids today?
Did you like your lunch? Would you pick that item again? Maybe I should try to make that if you liked it.
Conversation Starters About Friends
What is new with (fill in the name of a friend)?
Were any friends out sick today? How long have they been out sick?
Do any of your friends have a girlfriend? A friend who is a girl? (or vice versa for girls)
Any friends get a new cool Xbox game?
How is (fill in name) doing in wrestling, track, or hockey this season?
Conversations Starters About the School Day
Did your bus ride home seem to take forever? I made your favorite carrot cake. Want to have a piece with me?
How was school? Was it boring again or did something cool happen?
What was your most boring class today? Why?
Did you see anyone being mean today? Did you see anyone being a bully?
Did you see anyone get in trouble?
Did you see someone being kind today?
Were you cold in shorts today? Did you get rained on waiting to board the bus?
Did you like gym today? Did you go outside or were you inside in the gym? Was it cold outside? Talk about the weather, it’s a good conversation starter for all ages.
What did you do today in STEM? FACS (our school’s versison of home ec)? Band? Choir? Art? Spanish? What new word did you learn in Spanish today?
Did anyone talk at the bus stop today or was it silent again?
Who did you sit with on the bus? Did you talk on the bus or was everyone silent on the bus? Did you play on your phone or do homework on the bus ride home today?
What did you do at recess? (tweens may still have recess) Who did you hang with at recess? Was anyone mean today at recess? Did anyone stop you from playing? Did anyone invite you to play a game at recess?
Any new clubs at school you want to sign up for?
Did any of the teachers give you a dumb assignment today?
Were any teachers unfair today? What did they do?
Was your test hard today? Was it easier than you thought it would be?
What did you learn that you think you will NEVER use?
Do you need any new supplies for any projects coming up?
What was the worst thing that happened today at school? What was the best thing?
Did you have to read all hour in Language Arts again today?
Did you do a Science project or experiment today? What did you have to do? Did the experiment work?
Did you find a good book to read in the library? Did you start it yet? What is it about?
Related Post: Need a laugh? Read my boy mom humor post 30 Hilarious Authentic Truths About Being a Boy Mom
Conversations About Apps and Social Media
Did anyone take a picture of you without your permission? Did it bother you? Did they post it to social media? Or was it just a funny joke and you didn’t care?
Was anyone being a bully on Snapchat? Instagram? Muscial.ly?
Did anyone post something cool on Snapchat? Instagram? Musical.ly? If it’s cool, they might show you.
(Other apps to ask kids about include Whisper, Ask.fm, Kik Messenger, Tinder, Yik Yak, Poof, Omegle, Vine, Down, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, Tumbler, Facebook)
Conversations About a Sports Practice
How was practice?
Did you do anything you liked and were proud of at practice tonight?
What did you hate?
Was the coach in a bad mood?
Did any other teammates have an awesome move?
Did you do a scrimmage? How did your team do?
Did you do anything awesome in practice?
Did you find you have a skill you need to work harder on?
Conversations About Time with Friends
When you biked to the gas station with your friends, what candy did you buy? Did you go to the park or your friend’s house afterward? Did anyone get mad? Did anyone do something funny? What did your friend buy at the gas station? Was it cold biking? Did you get rained on? Again, talk about the weather to start the conversation. How far did you bike? Are you sore now from biking so much?
Did you see any other kids you knew at the park? Did you hang out with them or did they leave?
About a party: What did you eat? Who was there? What did you watch? Did you all play a game? Did everyone participate? This gets them to start talking and I get more details especially if something funny or extreme happened or if someone was difficult. Was the party boring?
Text Them Conversations Starters.
This allows them to ponder for a few minutes before responding rather than giving a knee jerk response.
What do you want to do this weekend? We can make a list of ideas. Want to add an idea?
Want to have a friend sleepover this weekend?
What do you want to eat this weekend? I’m running to the store.
Want to go to the store and spend your birthday money? (this induces spending time together, make it a special date, suggest going out to eat or for ice cream or coffee)
We are going out to eat as a family this weekend, anywhere special you would like to go?
How was your day?
Tell me about lunch.
Want to play (insert a specific game) with me right now? Or in ten minutes?
Pick a favorite game to add into the text. My boys like Monopoly, Jenga, Go Fish, Mastermind, or Apples to Apples. I love the retro Mastermind pictured below. That is the style I have at my house and my boys and I love to play it. It’s the same game I played as a child (I saved it!!)
Text them questions they don’t like to talk about or may be shy to talk about.
Do you need new underwear? Is your underwear getting too small?
Do you need more deodorant? More cologne? More hair gel? More face wash?
Anything unusual happen today you need to talk to me or dad about?
Dad is home want me to send him to your room to talk?
Did you finish that homework from health that was supposed to be discussed with us? We can talk anytime. (homework that is human development and reproduction)
Any girls you’ve been texting with or talking to at school?
Keep the Conversation Going
I hope my list helps you talk with your son. It can be a challenge especially for moms when boys are getting into the teen years. But if we get them talking fellow Mamas, perhaps they will keep talking and keep up a good line of communication open with us. Even if it’s just about a nasty chicken patty meal at lunch or how their friend Alex bought three cookies at lunch but gave one to Allyssa 😉
If all else fails, give them candy and sit down to share it with them. They might just talk in between sugared smiles! I know sugar always works on me:)
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