This Week’s Family Conversation Starters Card:
Peer pressure is real for children, teens and adults.
I was rereading recently a chapter from Amy Morin’s book:
Chapter 12 is about how we take shortcuts to avoid discomfort.
It got me thinking a lot about peer pressure as my 3 kids head back to school because many times our kids can fall victim to peer pressure because of the discomfort of saying no or walking away.
It’s making a decision in just seconds that can be either positive or end negatively.
How do we build up that inner muscle to make the uncomfortable decision to resist what our friends may be doing that we know is wrong?
Peer pressure at times is also positive. It can mean being a positive role model and leading others to do what is right.
That’s this weeks conversation starter:
What’s a time you felt peer pressure in a group of friends and how did you turn it around in a positive way?
This is a great way to learn about how our children think (especially if they’re in High School) and for us to help coach them before the new school season begins.
Week of August 5th Conversation Starters Card:
Do you have doubts, uncertainties or questions about the future?
We all do, regardless of age.
Yet, children and teenagers look at us parents like we have all the answers, when in reality, we look at our parents and seniors like they have all the answers.
It’s ok to have doubts, but it’s important to make sure those doubts don’t hold us captive.
We need to let our children (and definitely our teenagers) know that doubt is normal and that we are all uncertain about tomorrow.
Children think parents have it all together (hmmm) but when we show them that we also have doubts, but that those doubts don’t hold us captive from moving forward, it helps our children do the same.
This weeks conversation starter is around opening up on this topic with our children.
Let’s be vulnerable with our teenagers about something we’re uncertain about or have questions around to show our children we’re just like them, yet we can talk about it.
When you’re done sharing with your child, ask them:
What’s something you’re currently uncertain or have doubts about?
Sometimes our greatest gifts are found on the other side of something we’re uncertain about. But when we move forward the gift is discovered. Let’s help our children do the same.
Week of July 29th Conversation Starters Card:
It’s the ultimate ‘VOW’ many of us say before we had our kids.
“I would never parent like my mother” or “When I’m a parent I’ll never do ‘x’ that my dad always did”
Certain things we loved about our parents parenting of us and other things we said we’d never do.
But, is that the case?
In the book, The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, she shares that there’s a ton of unwittingly inheritance we receive psychologically from our parents and if we’re not conscious, we’ll in-turn pass it on to our children.
Think back to 3 things you said you’d never do parenting pre-kids and write them down.
Now have this conversation with your child:
What are 3 things I do as a parent that you’ll never do as a parent when your older and why?
You can share with your child the 3 things you promised you’d never do to see if it’s held true. But, it will definitely make for an interesting conversation to hear what your child is thinking today about the way you parent and open up the opportunity for an interesting conversation.
Dr. Shefali’s book is a best seller with 575 Five-Star reviews that really got me thinking.
Week of July 22nd Conversation Starters Card:
This weeks conversation starter is about teaching your kids ‘PIGS’.
No, not to be pigs, but how to be Financially savvy using this Acronym.
In the book, Smart Money Smart Kids, by America’s voice on money Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruze, they discuss ideas on raising the next generation to win with money.
The problem is kids don’t learn it in school (nor did we as parents) and 2/3 of America today is in debt.
The book gives many practical ideas on teaching finances to kids.
One topic I loved is on allowance.
Kids shouldn’t be given “allowance”, they should contribute to being a part of the family.
However, they can earn commissions for tasks above and beyond.
An example might be doing the dishes and making their bed are all family chores, but mowing the lawn is a commissionable action.
It’ll vary by family but Dave and Rachel share adults aren’t given allowances and we shouldn’t train our kids to have that mentality either. They’ll appreciate the idea of earning a commission for work performed for going above and beyond and it will teach them a great life lesson.
Let’s get into PIGS.
It’s an acronym I use and the idea behind it is to teach children that they need to divide up money they earn:
P: Personal use
The percentage will vary. If they’re saving for a car, they might want to save a larger percentage than they invest. Speaking of invest, they’ll love learning how to invest at an early age.
Giving and donating typically falls around 10% of earnings and is great to teach our children early. Lastly, personal use, they’ll love spending what they’ve worked hard for and will learn how little a dollar can go.
After discussing ‘PIGS’ with your child this week and what it means, try having a conversation around:
“What do you feel is a good percentage to divide among Personal, Investing, Giving and Saving? What would you want to Invest in, Donate to and Save for?”
Week of July 15th Conversation Starters Card:
When I share this weeks conversation starter, please read in it’s entirety.
Kids are doing this and having this conversation can prevent future legal issues or embarrassment.
What is Sallying?
Sallying is a form of sexting.
When you ask many kids (tween and teen) they’ll probably say that sexting is gross.
However, many will say (and joke around) that “Sallying” (if they’re familiar with the term) is ok. They might not say it to us parents, but among friends they joke about it.
So what is Sallying?
It’s a more ‘classy’ form of sexting where one is a bit more polite, romantic, loving and possibly even poetic.
It can start off just being playful.
The outcome ends the same though with a “nude” pic being sent and one asked of to your child.
The ‘New York Post’ had an article this week saying that sexting is part of ‘healthy exploration’. It went on to share that some in education are starting to teach kids how to ‘Sext’ more safely (really).
Most kids don’t realize this Parents, but sending a ‘Nude’ to a minor (even as a minor) is illegal in most states and can go on their record.
Sexting is a tough conversation I know for most parents, so maybe this might be an easier way to bring it up with this weeks conversation starter:
What the heck is the meaning of Sallying?
Let them know you just read about it and see if they’re familiar.
It can then lead you to sharing that you read of teens losing scholarships (yes it’s happened), having to register as a sex offender (yes it happens frequently), having criminal charges for child pornography (yes even if they were just 13 and meaning no harm) and in many states parents having had legal consequences.
There’s also the emotional side. If people get in a fight and then end up sharing that picture with the school, it can become very embarrassing.
We’re writing a post on sexting vs. sallying and if you’d like to participate in our Facebook poll, please join the discussion by clicking here.
This weeks book recommendation is “The Strength Switch” by Lea Waters.
It’s fascinating and about focusing on our children’s strengths rather than always trying to correct their weaknesses.
Week of July 8th Conversation Starters Card:
For the family to enjoy and benefit from this week’s family conversation starter, you first need to all understand TRICK.
TRICK is an acronym from the book:
This was written by The Godmother of Silicon Valley, Esther Wojcicki, a famous teacher who has taught many of Silicon Valley’s brightest and whose 3 daughters are all widely successful (one is the CEO of YouTube and it’s in their garage that Google was started). Here’s a review of the book and thoughts on How to raise a successful kid in today’s world. We walk through Esther’s TRICK acronym:
- Trust: By showing our children we trust them, they can in-turn trust themselves which leads to more responsible children who have higher self-esteem.
- Respect: We need to respect and support our children to pursue their own goals, even when they’re not what we may have hoped for them.
- Independent: Give your child the opportunity to be independent and work through challenges themselves. This leads to children who when they grow are able to cope with adversity, be more creative and handle life challenges.
- Collaboration: Encourage your children to be part of the family decisions (even punishments). Instead of telling our children what we expect done, let’s encourage them to foster their own ideas for the family as a whole.
- Kindness: Model kindness in and out of the home as parents. Teach your children to be grateful, to serve others and the power of forgiveness.
Question for the Family after discussing these 5 suggestions (tips):
Which of these 5 parenting tips above do you feel we can work on as a family more and why?
Week of July 1st Conversation Starters Card:
In this book Esther shares that the following acronym ‘TRICK’ will help raise happy, healthy, successful children:
Initially our Tweens or Teens might be hesitant to discuss this topic, but it’s a battle we face in a digitally connected world today.
The following is a Ted Talk you can watch with your child or have a conversation with them about.
Abby is only 12 (so well-spoken!) and she shares how she went from saying ‘I hate you’ to ‘Thank You’ to her parents when they took her phone away.
We all have different opinions on when it’s appropriate age-wise for our kids to have a cell phone, but when they do, have you agreed on what’s a reasonable amount of time to be on it?
Do you ever have a day of the week where the family disconnects (even for part of the day or at least at dinner)?
She shares that in the book “Disconnected: How To Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids” the author said the recent statistic is kids are spending up to now 9 hours on the phone a day.
Now Abby’s parents went to one extreme of letting her have a phone, to no phone. In today’s world, according to many Doctors we interviewed, that extreme isn’t healthy either. We need a balance.
This week’s question for the family to discuss is: “What do you feel is an unhealthy amount of time to spend daily on our phones” or “What day of the week can we as a family do a digital detox and for how long during that day is fair”
Great conversation to have and as the book Disconnected shares, there’s a ton of health and psychological benefits to this.
Click here to download the printable.
Week of June 24 Conversation Starters Card:
Our kids are amazing, aren’t they? They accomplish amazing things and we are so proud of them… and we like to express that to others. And there’s nothing wrong with being proud of our kids, but the problem is that if our kids only hear us talking about their accomplishments, they may feel they can’t come to us when they’re struggling. Which is why this question is SO POWERFUL.
Below are some follow up questions to ask. Reassure your teen or tween that you want them to be honest. That you won’t get mad. That you just want to be the best possible parent for them.
- Are you ever afraid of my reaction?
- Do I interrupt you?
- Am I distracted when we’re talking, making you doubt whether I’m really listening to what you’re saying?
- Do I jump right into trying to fix it rather than just letting you vent?
- Do you ever feel like I’m going to judge you?
- What could I do differently?
- What do you need from me?
Download the printable here.
Week of June 17 Conversation Starters Card:
Watch the TedX talk below this weeks conversation starter card by 14-Year Old Adam Avin with your child or Teen. First ask them this weeks question. Some Tweens and Teens may have a tough time answering this, but you’ll see at the end of the video Adam suggest the following ideas of how they can start make a difference today:
- Pick up the phone and call a friend instead of texting
- Believe in yourself instead of comparing yourself to the fake pictures you see on social media
- Remember you are worthy and tell yourself daily that you can make a difference in the world
- Make a new friend, today
- Make a effort to be nice to someone
- Lend a hand
- Make today count
Download the printable here.
Adam shares the importance of practicing gratitude in this video and it’s something your kids should make a habit of doing nightly. If they don’t have a Gratitude Journal, click-here for a good one they can use each night or morning!
Week of June 10 Conversation Starters Card:
School often leaves kids burned out on the idea of “learning.” In fact, if a teen or
tween hears that they should “learn” something new, they’re likely going to be
immediately disinterested. But as human beings, we’re naturally curious and
have a desire for knowledge… it just needs to be around our interests.
Which is what makes Skillshare so powerful. You can find a course on almost
any topic imaginable on the site, which means that if your child has an interest,
he or she can dive deeper and learn more (and in bite-sized, easy-to-consume
pieces). And when you learn with your family, you’ll naturally spend more quality
together, which has a host of benefits.
- So what could you learn together as a family?
- Could you take a new class weekly or monthly to accommodate different
- Could you turn it into a challenge to add a fun but competitive element? (Like
who can learn eBay and sell first)
The key is to have fun and laugh together as a family throughout the process!
Download the printable here.
Week of June 3 Conversation Starters Card:
Today is June 1st and we’re officially almost halfway through the year. How
would you title your 2019 story, thus far?
If your life was made into a movie, what movie genre would your year fall
- Love story
Is there anything you would like to change or do differently in the remaining 7 months
of 2019? Is there anything you would like us to do as a family?
Download the printable here.
Week of May 20th Conversation Starters Card:
“What’s one thing that made you laugh today?
Seems like such a simple question, but there’s a ton of science behind why
discussing this is so good for the entire family. Studies show that humor lights
up the part of the brain responsible for distributing dopamine, the feel-good
Humor doesn’t just make you more happy, though, it also makes you grittier.
Navy SEAL Platoon Commander James Waters shares “You’ve got to have fun
and be able to laugh; laugh at yourself and laugh at what you’re doing. My best
friend and I laughed our way through BUD/S.”
Being intentional about laughter can help you to:
- Improve relationships
- Make everyone happy at the dinner table
- Increase the love we have for everyone at the table
- Improve performance in school and work
- Make you more resilient and gritty, and
- Even make you healthier
Download the printable HERE.
Week of May 13 Conversation Starters Card
What’s the last risk you took?
All of us take risks at some point. Perhaps it was in trying out for a sport,
participating in a competition, or even just introducing yourself to someone new
in the hopes of making a new friend. We hope that by doing this, we’ll see a
reward waiting for us. But that’s not always the case. We sometimes take risks
The important thing is to keep moving forward and keep taking risks, and not to
let fear cripple us and hold us back from pursuing our goals.
Some questions to ask your kids after they’ve identified their last risk:
How did you feel before taking the risk? How did you feel afterwards?
Did you succeed? If you didn’t, what is the lesson you can take away from
it? Was it possible not succeeding was a blessing? Sometimes we realize
what we wanted would have been a strain on us physically or mentally or
taken up more time than we had to give. Sometimes being told “no” is a
blessing in disguise. Or sometimes we’re told “no” because there’s
something even bigger in store for our future.
Download the printable HERE.
Largest List of Good Conversation Starters For Your Family
As parents, we want to have a strong relationship with our kids. We want them to open up and talk to us. Heck, sometimes we just want them to hang out with us at the dinner table without running away the moment the meal is over.
We’re here to help!
Below you’ll find a download for the 3 Powerful Questions Parents Love Asking Their Kids. Hope you enjoy these conversation starters as much as we’ve enjoyed creating them.