5 Days of Get Your Teenager Talking- DAY 5

talking-with-teensEach day in my blog this week I have given you a little somethin’ you can use to provoke meaningful conversations with young people. (Click here for Monday’s, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, or Thursday’s.) My brand new book, Get Your Teenager Talking has 180 conversation springboards that “get teenagers talking”… I thought I’d share some with you. Here’s one more:

Conversation Springboard No. 5:

Which kids are happier: those who eat whatever they want, drink alcohol, and smoke, or those who eat healthy foods and live a healthier lifestyle?

A recent study suggests an unhealthy lifestyle is linked to unhappiness. In fact, in their analysis of five thousand young people between the ages of ten and fifteen, researchers discovered:

  • Young people who never drank alcohol were four to six times more likely to have higher levels of happiness than those who consumed alcohol.
  • Youth who smoked were about five times less likely to have high happiness scores compared to those who never smoked.
  • Higher consumption of fruit and vegetables and lower consumption of chips, sweets, and soft drinks were both associated with high happiness.
  • The more hours of sports that young people participated in per week, the happier they were.

Why do you think this is the case?

Follow-Up Questions

  • Do you think young people today are attracted to the idea of being able to do whatever they like?
  • What are some consequences of unhealthy eating, drinking, or smoking?
  • Explain why “doing whatever you like” actually isn’t as rewarding as expected?

Insight Into the Question

This question helps young people consider the sources of happiness.

Quick Additions

  • What makes young people truly happy? Why?
  • What makes you happy? Why?
  • How can you avoid falling into the “do whatever I like” trap?

Dr. David Olshine, about Get Your Teenager Talking

Get-Your-Teenager-Talking“If you want fun, clever, and witty ways to engage your adolescent, pick up Jonathan McKee’s Get Your Teenager Talking and let the conversations begin.”
– Dr. David Olshine, professor and director of Youth Ministry, Family and Culture at Columbia International University (Columbia, SC).


About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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2 Responses to 5 Days of Get Your Teenager Talking- DAY 5

  1. Cara says:

    Great conversation starter! Where can I get a copy of the study you reference?

    • Thanks Cara… good catch. It’s documented in the book, and that’s not in this post… so I just added it as a hyperlink. Thanks for the reminder. I always like to cite my sources (the book does too).