It can be hard to find the right time for spiritual discussions with teens.
As parents, we often aspire to foster deeper spiritual connections with our kids, but amid the casual banter of everyday life, initiating meaningful conversations can be a challenge.
Kathryn Davis, religious educator and host of the “Magnify” podcast, shares her experience and ideas to help us know how to best approach spiritual conversations with our kids.
Listen to “Magnify” the podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts, and learn more at magnifythegood.com/podcast.
How to Approach Spiritual Discussions With Teens
Breaking the Barriers
Parents face challenges in initiating authentic spiritual conversations with their teens. Kathryn acknowledges that teenagers do desire these discussions, but might struggle to bring up the topic. She stresses the importance of parents meeting their teenagers where they are, speaking their language, and creating a safe and approachable atmosphere for spiritual dialogues.
Embracing Inconvenient Moments
Embrace inconvenient moments for spiritual connection. Kathryn highlights how teens often approach their parents with profound questions or concerns at inconvenient times. She emphasizes that recognizing these moments as valuable opportunities, despite the inconvenience, strengthens the parent-teen bond. Being fully present during these moments forms the foundation for enduring spiritual connections.
Create a Healthy Culture of Question Asking
Parents should foster a culture of questioning, allowing teenagers to explore their beliefs and spirituality. By being open to their children’s inquiries, parents not only strengthen their relationship, but also empower teens to develop critical thinking skills, enabling them to seek answers independently.
Integrate Spirituality into Teenagers’ Interests
Kathryn stresses the importance of understanding teenagers’ passions and interests. She encourages parents to integrate spirituality into activities that resonate with their teens, whether sports, music, or academics. By doing so, parents can demonstrate that spirituality is relevant and applicable to all aspects of their lives, fostering a sense of connection between their interests and spiritual growth.
Practice Your Poker Face
Kathryn highlights the significance of maintaining a calm and non-judgmental demeanor. She encourages parents to practice a “poker face” when discussing sensitive topics with their teenagers. By creating a safe space for open communication, parents can ensure that their teens feel comfortable discussing even the most challenging aspects of spirituality, strengthening trust and understanding.