100 Thought-Provoking Questions to Ask Teenagers

These 100 questions to ask teenagers will get them thinking about life, their future, their emotions, the world around them, and ethics & justice.

A father talking to their son while walking - questions to ask teenagers

As they assert their independence and seek autonomy, teenagers are often reluctant to open up to parents or adults.

It can be challenging to get teens to answer simple questions such as “Is your homework done?” or “What are your weekend plans?”.

But even though teens come across as uninterested in parents’ or adults’ involvement, the truth is they still very much want to know we care.

Asking teens thought-provoking or even deep questions about life sends the message that we’re interested in what they think. And that we respect their opinions.

Finding the right moment to ask a few of these questions can begin to build a bridge in your relationship of trust and mutual respect.

But if the following questions to ask teens seem a little too ambiguous to begin with, a good place to start is:

“What’s something you wish adults understood about being a teenager?”

Every teen has an opinion about that… ๐Ÿ˜Š

Questions to ask teenagers about life

The following questions for teens hit on some pretty deep queries about life. They’re both specific to your teen’s life and life in general.

  • What do you think is the purpose of life?
  • What scares you the most about growing up?
  • What is the biggest challenge you’re currently facing in your life?
  • How do you think technology is changing the way we live?
  • What role does social media play in your life, and how does it affect you?
  • How do you think your upbringing has influenced who you are today?
  • What is the most significant decision you’ve had to make in your life so far?
  • What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?
  • What does it mean to live a meaningful life?
  • How do you differentiate between wants and needs in your life?
  • What role does gratitude play in your life?

Deep questions about the world

As teenagers straddle adolescence and adulthood they become more aware of the world around them. The following are a few deep questions about the world for your teen to ponder.

  • If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
  • How do you think your generation will change the world?
  • What do you think is the biggest issue facing society today?
  • What is the value of travel and experiencing different cultures?
  • What do you believe is the purpose of storytelling in human culture?
  • What role do you think art and creativity play in society?
  • What is your opinion on the purpose of education?
  • How do you view the concept of time, and how does it influence your actions?
  • How do you view the concept of destiny or fate?
  • What do you think is the key to finding inner peace?
  • What is the importance of curiosity and continuous learning?
  • What do you believe is the purpose of art in society?

Questions about emotions

Teenagers are still maturing and wrestling with complex emotions. The following questions help them think through and reflect on their emotional behavior.

  • What is the significance of self-reflection and introspection?
  • How do you overcome self-doubt and build self-belief?
  • How do you cope with feelings of loneliness?
  • How do you handle uncertainty and fear of the unknown?
  • How do you cultivate and maintain a positive mindset?
  • How do you handle feelings of jealousy or envy?
  • How do you handle moments of self-doubt and imposter syndrome?
  • How do you approach and process grief and loss?
  • What is the significance of self-expression in your life?
  • What is the significance of mindfulness and living in the present moment?

Questions about success and happiness

High school is when teens start to think about their future โ€“ whether it’s a profession, career, or college. During this period it can be helpful for teens to self-reflect on how they define success and happiness. These questions can jumpstart a discussion.

  • What does success mean to you?
  • How do you define happiness?
  • What are your thoughts on the pursuit of material wealth and its impact on happiness?
  • What is something you’re passionate about, and why?
  • How do you cultivate self-confidence and self-esteem?
  • What do you think is the biggest obstacle to achieving your dreams?
  • How do you define courage, and how does it manifest in your life?
  • What do you think is the connection between personal values and happiness?
  • How do you handle the fear of failure when pursuing your dreams?
  • What is the importance of failure in personal growth and success?
  • What role does self-discipline play in achieving long-term goals?
  • How do you view the relationship between ambition and contentment?
  • What do you think is the impact of consumerism on personal fulfillment?
  • How do you define and pursue personal growth?
  • What is your perspective on the balance between work and personal life?
  • How do you balance the need for self-care with the demands of a busy life?
  • How do you view the concept of luck, and how does it relate to personal achievement?
  • What do you think is the importance of self-acceptance and embracing imperfections?
  • How do you define and pursue a meaningful and fulfilling life?
  • How do you navigate the pressure to conform to societal expectations of success?
  • How do you balance independence and asking for help?

Questions about stress, pressure, and resilience

Teens are often under a great deal of stress and pressure. It can be helpful for them to contemplate these experiences to determine if they’re over-extended or build resilience. These questions can help.

  • How do you manage stress and pressure?
  • How do you handle failure or setbacks?
  • What are your thoughts on the meaning of “success without fulfillment is failure”?
  • How do you stay motivated and pursue your goals?
  • How do you handle criticism and feedback?
  • How do you cope with feelings of overwhelm or burnout?
  • What do you think is the purpose of challenges and hardships in life?
  • What is the role of perseverance in overcoming challenges?
  • How do you handle regrets and learn from past mistakes?
  • How do you balance self-care and responsibilities?

Questions about relationships

Relationships can become a central focus in a teen’s world. It’s important for teens to consider what they value in a relationship and how to build healthy and strong relationships. These questions touch on those themes.

  • Do you think it’s more important to be liked or to be respected?
  • How do you deal with peer pressure?
  • What do you think is the key to maintaining healthy relationships?
  • What do you value most in a friendship?
  • How do you define love?
  • How do you handle disagreements or conflicts with others?
  • What is the value of empathy and understanding in relationships?
  • What is the role of forgiveness in personal growth and healing?
  • What do you think is the meaning of true friendship?
  • What do you think is the impact of technology on human connection and relationships?
  • How do you handle the fear of judgment from others?
  • What is the significance of setting boundaries in relationships?
  • What is the value of empathy in resolving conflicts and promoting understanding?
  • How do you deal with societal expectations and pressure to conform?
  • What is the impact of social norms on individuality?
  • How do you define authenticity, and how do you stay true to yourself?

Questions about beauty, body image, and self-identity

As their bodies transform during puberty, teenagers place an increased focus on body image, beauty, and self-identity. It’s beneficial for teens to consider what they think about these subjects and how society impacts their perceptions.

  • How do you define beauty?
  • How do you navigate societal pressure to conform to certain body image standards?
  • How do you navigate the pressure to conform to societal gender roles?
  • How do you cultivate and maintain a healthy body and mind?
  • How do you define personal identity and the search for self?

Questions about ethics and justice

Ethics and justice are topics teenagers will wrestle with their entire lives. These questions can jumpstart a discussion about these challenging subjects.

  • What does it mean to be an ethical person?
  • How do you approach and resolve ethical dilemmas?
  • How do you navigate and make decisions based on your moral compass?
  • What impact do you believe your actions have on the world around you?
  • How do you view the balance between individual freedom and societal rules?
  • How do you define the concept of justice?
  • What do you think is the impact of social inequality on individuals and communities?
  • How do you define integrity, and how does it guide your actions?
  • What is the role of empathy in creating a better society?
  • What do you believe is the importance of community involvement and giving back?
  • What is the role of compassion and kindness in building a better world?

Questions about the future

It’s never too early to begin to think about the future. These questions will get teens thinking.

  • If you could have a conversation with your future self, what would you ask?
  • What do you think is the impact of environmental issues on future generations?
  • How do you handle the pressure to make decisions about your future career?

See related:

125+ Fun Questions to Ask Your Kids to Get Them Talking

21 Family Bonding Activities to Strengthen Your Family’s Connection

Why these 3 Classic Punishments for Teenagers are Ineffective and What to Do Instead

7 Important House Rules for Teenagers (and How to Make Sure They’re Followed)

70+ Essential Life Skills Teens Can Use Now and in the Future

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About Kerry Flatley

Hi! I’m Kerry, the mother of two girls and a certified parent educator. I believe it is possible for parents to have a supportive, loving, and warm relationship with their kids while raising them to be independent and ultimately self-sufficient. Over the years, I’ve read numerous books and articles that support this belief and I’ve put these ideas into practice with my own kids. Read more about me and Self-Sufficient Kids here.