“How was your day?”
“Did anything interesting happen?”
“What did you learn in class?”
If this conversation sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to start a conversation with your teen when everything that comes to mind has a one-word answer. But family dinner can be an amazing opportunity to connect with your kids and learn more about them (and one study even found that having family dinner at least four times a week increases kids’ likelihood of graduating from high school!), so we’ve compiled a list of 50 questions to help start great conversations over the dinner table.
(For new conversation starters each week, check out our Culture Translator newsletter!)
Would You Rather
It’s not always great to start off with a super heavy topic, so here are some questions to kick off the conversation!
- Would you rather be famous for your intelligence or for your talents?
- Would you rather play the villain or the hero in a movie?
- Would you rather drink all your food from a baby bottle, or wear visible diapers for the rest of your life?
- Would you rather always have to sing instead of speaking or always have to dance everywhere you went?
- Would you rather give up social media or texting for an entire year?
- Would you rather not be allowed to wash your hands for a month or your hair for a month?
- Would you rather only be able to watch one movie for the rest of your life or only be able to read one book for the rest of your life?
- Would you rather lose your ability to speak or always have to say everything you’re thinking?’
- Would you rather have the ability to read other people’s minds or the ability to see into the future?
- Would you rather never be able to eat your favorite food again for the rest of your life or only be able to eat your favorite food?
Pop Culture Conversation Starters
Our kids consume tons of media, and it can feel nearly impossible to stay on top of it all. But we’ve got a few easy questions to get that ball rolling.
- Who’s your favorite singer or band at the moment? What do you like about them?
- What’s your favorite show right now?
- What video games have you been into lately?
- What’s a movie you watched recently, and what did you think about it?
- Are there any new slang words you’ve found yourself using? Why do you use them?
- What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the internet this week?
- Who’s your favorite YouTuber? What do you like about them?
- What’s a hot take you have? (A “hot take” is an opinion about something that might be something people don’t think about, or be unpopular)
- What’s a show/movie/game/book/etc. that you turn to if you want to be cheered up?
- How has your screen time affected you? (You might consider sharing how screen time has affected you as well, because this definitely isn’t solely a teen problem; we’re all susceptible to over-consumption.)
Social Issues Conversation Starters
These can be touchy subjects, but the odds are your teen has strong opinions about a lot of them. It can be really valuable to hear what they think about these topics, and let them know that you’re safe to talk about them with. We never want to start a fight, so feel free to alter these questions in a way that makes your kids comfortable, or skip them if the time isn’t right.
- What are some changes you’ve noticed in the world since the COVID-19 pandemic? How has your life changed?
- How has social media changed how we talk to each other about things we disagree on?
- Do you think our culture is too political? Why or why not?
- Why do you think celebrities weigh in on social issues? Do you think that’s a good or bad thing?
- What are some things that our generations think differently about? What do we think similarly about?
- How can we spend our time differently than we have in the past?
- If you could change one thing about how our country works, what would it be?
- What is a social issue you’re passionate about, and why?
- How do you think about mental health? Are there any things you do to support your own mental health?
- What is something that gives you hope for our world?
Christian Conversation Starters
Do you ever feel stuck when it comes to talking about faith with your kid? It can be a bit of an intimidating subject because we don’t always know what our teens are thinking about Christianity. These questions will help you to know where their head is at, and hopefully open up a gateway to deep, incredible conversation.
- Why do you believe what you believe?
- What makes someone a Christian?
- Do you think it’s okay to question what you believe?
- What do you think our culture thinks of Christians? Do you agree with that perspective?
- Why does God let bad things happen?
- What does it mean to have a relationship with God?
- Are there any questions that you struggle to answer about Christianity?
If you could sit face to face with God and ask Him one question, what would it be?
- What does it mean to worship God? Do you think it’s important?
- What is one way you can worship God this week without using music?
- What are your top 5 bucket list items?
- Where do you most want to go in the world?
- What’s your go-to comfort food?
- What is your earliest memory?
- What’s your favorite memory with the family?
- What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make?
- If you’re having a rough day, what are the best ways to cheer you up?
- What word best describes our family?
- What’s your dream job?
- If you could shop for free at one store, which one would you choose?