Every year, we do a unit focused on healthy living. The specifics depend on the grade level but it all boils down to making good choices and taking care of yourself. Getting students comfortable talking about healthy eating, safe social choices, exercise isn’t easy, but I’ve put together some conversation starter cards that really help. I printed up my questions on card stock and then laminated them so they would survive all of my classes.
As I was updating my set this past month, I realized that these cards would be really helpful for parents too. It can be tough to get more than “yes”, “no”, or “whatever” answers out of teens, but these more open-ended questions are designed to really get them thinking. By making it a bit like a game, the cards help to keep the mood relaxed and fun. These would be great to use at the dinner table or even in the car, anytime you’re looking to have a meaningful conversation with your teens.
Healthy Living Conversation Starters
Here are a few examples:
- What do you do when you feel stressed?
- What is your favorite food and why?
- What characteristics make a good role model?
- What is something that makes you feel uncomfortable?
- What is the biggest problem facing teenagers?
- Would you ever consider being a vegetarian?
- If you could cook your family dinner, what would you serve?
- Should children be allowed to drink coffee, why or why not?
- What is your favorite sport or physical activity?
- Do you consider yourself healthy, why or why not?
- What would you say to a friend that felt like no one cared?
- How much time is too much time on the computer (or video games, cell phone, TV, etc.)?
I’ve found that teenagers are really receptive to these topics when they feel that adults are open and willing to listen. Definitely plan on answering the questions too as this can be a great way to role model for your teens. It might take some time but hopefully your family is able to have some great conversations!