Parenting teens is by far the hardest job us Mamas are asked to do.  Teenagers go through a myriad of psychological and emotional ups and downs throughout puberty.  So, it’s important that you keep the lines of communication open.

Many people say it’s not your job to be your teenager’s friend. I think that depends on how you define ‘friend’. Now that I have a 17-year-old I realize that we have been friends the entire time; we’ve been good friends though.

A good friend tells you when you are wrong. A good friend looks out for your emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual well-being. A good friend doesn’t lie to you when you’re on the wrong path. A good friend has love for you that goes beyond the surface. That’s the type of friend I am to my teenager.

Having said that, it’s been imperative that I check in with him at least once a week and ask some key questions to indicate whether or not I’m being a good friend or bad friend to my teen. Check out the list below.

The first few questions are mandatory for safety, and are not so much as questions, but expectations from your teen to make sure you they are having healthy social interactions both online and offline.

  1. What is the password for your cellphone?
  2. What are your peer’s parents addresses and phone numbers?
  3. What are the passwords for all of your social media accounts?
  4. Why do you need to have your bedroom door locked or closed?

Now that you’ve got through that, these are the real conversation starters for Mamas parenting teens.

5. If you could be best friends with anyone in the world who would it be? The saying goes, you can tell a lot about someone by who their friends are.  While your teen might be sweet and innocent around you, chances are there friends are not.  Get their friends close and them even closer.

Do you have a nickname on social media? I just found out that many teenagers have nicknames on social media.  Not only could this give you a good idea about your child’s social rep, but it also give insight into what your child may or may not be thinking about him/herself. In the same way Mamas can learn a lot about how their toddlers view life from play, social media is a teenager’s playground.

  1. What type of girls/guys do you like?

     

    1. AGAIN, perception is everything. Because teens are oh, so self-centered their ideal date is someone who, ultimately, will do everything they want them to do.  This will give you some insight into how they see themselves right now.
  1. What is your favorite song right now?

     

    1. Teens know music! They love music.  They live music.  Knowing your teenager’s favorite song tells you if they are lonely and brokenhearted, like to party, just wanna get high or are poppin’ mollies.  Know your kid’s favorite artist, song or genre and know their life.
  1. Who is your role model, or who do you want to be like when you grow up?
  1. Do your friends think that you are a leader or a follower?

     

    1. This is a big one.  Peer pressure is real and most teens are really willing to talk about what their friends think about any subject, especially themselves.  Whether they are a leader or follower is irrelevant, is all about figuring out how your teen believes the world sees him/her.
  1. If you could look like anyone in the world, who would it be?
  1. What’s the one thing in your life that you wish you could get a do-over on?
  2. What is the one thing you own that is more important to you than life itself?
    1. Find out what your teenager’s precious is and you’ll know where their heart truly lies.

Need more advice on raising teenagers?

Raising a girl? Should you allow her to date? Read More….

 

 

Raising BoysRaising Teenagers

Muffy MendozaAuthor posts

Muffy Mendoza is an author, speaker and founder of Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a support group for nearly 4,000 African-American moms in the Pittsburgh region. To further fill the void Muffy has created a line of educational products focused on helping Black moms be the best moms, too. Her first book, The Brown Mama Mindset: A Blueprint for Black Moms on Life, Love & Home, was featured at the 2018 Essence Festival and is currently sold in various cities across the U.S. Muffy champions the beauty of Black motherhood everywhere she goes, even on the TEDx stage. Find out more about Muffy on muffymendoza.com.

2 Comments

  • Thank you! Some of these questions I already know the answers to but some of them I never thought to ask. I feel like we’ve hit a road block in our communication which used to be very open, so I hope these questions will be the conversation starter that we need!

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