The Mystery Time
School becomes a vacuum our children disappear into and a mystery as to what is happening to them in that extreme social environment.
They come home from school, slam the door, we ask them how their day went and they mumble, "fine".
What is really happening for over half their day. This is where most of the problems in a teenagers life happen but we you have no way of knowing what that is.
How do we help them?
Instead of asking questions (which they don't want to answer); talk about situational stories. Jesus always used a story about someone else to break down the barriers.
An example would be to discuss a news story. Something dramatic such as the sad shooting we had last week at a school. Talk about the story. Sometimes your teenager will chime in with comments themselves. Or you may use the opportunity to ask if a students ever made a comment they heard.
Trust that you will NOT react is critical if you want them to open up. The less you react the more they open up.