Concerned About Your Child’s Choices? Play The “What If ” Game
As a parent, it can be frustrating and challenging to communicate effectively with teenagers.
One of the most common issues that parents face is arguments with their teens about choices and decisions. While it may be tempting to argue and try to convince them to see your point of view, this approach often leads to tension and stress in the household.
Instead, parents can try playing a “what if” game with their teens to help them think through their choices more fully. This game is a creative and fun way to encourage your teen to consider the consequences of their actions, without resorting to arguing or lectures.
To start the game, ask your teen a hypothetical question that relates to the decision they are facing. For example, if they are considering skipping school, you might ask, “What if you skip school today, and your teacher calls me to tell me that you missed an important test? What would you do?”
Encourage your teen to consider the potential consequences of their actions, and to think about how they would feel if those consequences actually occurred. You might ask follow-up questions to help them explore their thoughts and feelings, such as “How would you feel if you missed that test?” or “What would you say to your teacher if they asked you why you weren’t there?”
Playing this game with your teen helps them to develop critical thinking skills and to consider the impact of their decisions on themselves and others. It also helps to open up lines of communication between parents and teens, creating a safe space where they can explore their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or criticism.
In addition to the benefits of this game for communication and decision-making, it can also have a positive impact on your teen’s mental health. By encouraging them to think through their choices, you are promoting self-reflection and self-awareness, which can lead to greater self-esteem and confidence.
In conclusion, arguing with your teens is rarely a productive way to communicate. Instead, try playing the “what if” game to help them think through their choices more fully. This approach fosters critical thinking, self-reflection, and open communication, all of which can benefit your teen’s mental health and well-being. By using this technique, you can help your teen make better decisions and develop valuable life skills that will serve them well into adulthood.
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When Darkness to Light started working to protect children, no one provided services to stop abuse before it even happened. But they had a different vision. At Darkness to Light, they empower adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to childhood issues (especially sexual abuse) through awareness, education, and stigma reduction. Learn more at www.D2L.org.