21 Questions for Cultivating a Relationship with Your Tween and Teen

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Last month I shared about how I could be that mom -- you know, the one whose confident she knows what her tween or teen is up to, until the shocker comes about their wayward living. From my experience in mentoring teens, I’ve learned that there is nothing we can do to keep our kids from going off course, but that doesn’t mean we should through in the parenting towel. Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 11.36.47 AM

So what would it look like to focus on cultivating a relationship for which they feel safe to return when they stumble and fall?

Oh, this can be a tiring task -- with no guarantees!  But let that not stop us from embracing our motherhood calling! Let us focus on establishing a relationship with our kids built out of God’s love and purposed intentionality. If we desire to see our tykes grow into tweens, teens, and twenty-somethings who love Jesus with their whole heart, mind, body, and soul, then we’re going to have to continually look at what goes into their heart, soul, body and mind.

21 Heart-Guarding and Character-Building Questions

May these questions help you think concretely about what is influencing your child as you pray for them to grow into independent Christ followers. You can download a printable copy at moretobe.com.

  1. What is the benefit of what is entering into my child’s life -- think friends, media, technology, culture?
  2. When was the last time I listened to my child talk about their life, faith, friends, fears, stresses, dreams, and hopes?
  3. Am I heeding our set time for bedtime and weekend curfew?
  4. Do I have a weekly connecting time with my child?
  5. How am I encouraging my child to love and serve others?
  6. Do I know where my child stands in their faith and about their identity in Christ?
  7. What is our policy for the amount of time spent on screens (computer, phone, TV) and where they use their screens, along with having a place to dock the cell phones, iPads, and laptops in order to protect against all night texting, surfing, and friend “noise”?
  8. Have I recently spent time with my child while they are on technology to see what they are being exposed to?
  9. Is my internet filter working effectively or do I need to do some research to get one in place?
  10. Have I explained to my tweens and teens the implications of what they post online and helped them set up  privacy features social media accounts?
  11. Have I been heeding our policy to check my tweens and teens social media account, email, and text messaging (with their permission)?
  12. Have I talked with my tween and teen about sexting and bullying (online and in real life)?
  13. Have we discussed the topic of dating, relationships, sexual and emotional purity, with setting specific goals and boundaries?
  14. How am I encouraging healthy habits (exercise, diet, hygiene) and have I noticed their health concerns (skin, hair, body)?
  15. Am I being intentional about engaging with their friends and aware of what is going on when they are not in my home?
  16. Is my child’s best friend (or group of friends) a good influence on them?
  17. Who is my child's worst enemy and how can I help them in establishing boundaries?
  18. Am I actively praying for my child?
  19. What am I doing to encourage my child to read their bible, pray, worship, and connect with other believers?
  20. How am I encouraging my child to learn skills that will enable them to become independent adults?
  21. What am I doing to make the most of the time to be my child’s greatest influence?

For more encouragement on parenting tweens and teens, visit MoretoBe.com. And don't forget to download your printable copy here.