For a lot of families, life is just plain busy. Between work, school, homework, hobbies and friends, it can be hard to squeeze in family time.

Keeping up with what’s happening in our kids’ lives can get even harder as they get older and become busier themselves.

To stay connected with your kids, it’s important to keep talking. If you’ve ever had trouble getting your teen to talk to you, you’re not alone.

We compiled a list of questions to help get those conversations started. Click on the cards below. You’ll find many basic questions that can help break the ice, get the conversation started and even lead to deeper talks. Just pick one or two questions to start with.

Also, consider these tips from Colorado youth about the best ways for parents and other adults to start meaningful conversations:

  • “Don’t only talk with us about serious things. Start with small conversations to build trust. Positive interactions will help us be more receptive to tougher conversations later.”
  • “Be thoughtful about the time and place to start a conversation. If the topic is serious, wait until we are in a private location without distractions. Make sure we are feeling good — not tired, hungry or upset. When possible, give us advance warning for serious discussions.”
  • “Don’t give up if we aren’t ready to talk at a certain moment. Just let us know that you will be ready to listen when we are ready.”
  • “Respect us. Don’t criticize or dismiss our opinions, if you want us to keep talking. Just listen. Don’t try to solve all our problems for us unless we ask for help.”

Check out these conversation starters! Click on or hover over the boxes to reveal the questions.

Friendships + Relationships

Who is the funniest person you know?

Who do you admire most?

Who are your closest friends?

Who do you wish you could have a closer relationship with? Why? What can you do to improve that relationship?

Do you have any friends who live far away? How do you maintain that long-distance friendship?

What does it look like to be a good friend?

The Youth Experience

What kinds of things make you feel stressed?

What helps you relax?

What was the best part of your day today?

What do you think most parents have forgotten or don’t get about being a teenager?

What are the best and worst things about social media?

Has there been a silver lining for you in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

How do you want me to show you I support you?

What is the best thing about being your age? What is the worst thing?

Personal Preferences + Interests

What are three things you have that are most important to you?

If you could take only one trip in a time machine, would you rather travel back in time or into the future?

If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?

If you could do anything you wanted for 24 hours, regardless of money or resources, what would you do?

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Why?

If you could be a photographer for only one day, what would you take pictures of?

Life Experiences + Dreams

If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?

If you could take two trips in the next 10 years, where would you go?

What are the most important things for living a good life?

How do you think you will be different in 20 years?

What do you wish you knew how to do that you don’t know yet?


What do you miss most from when you were a little kid?

What were the happiest moments you had in the last year?

When was a time you laughed so hard you cried?

What is your earliest childhood memory?

What were the hardest moments you had in the last year?