4 C's of Opinion Sharing

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but our opinions don’t always need to be shared. Knowing when to share calls for relational wisdom.

When teenagers share their opinions with adults, they’re often shut down because they are “too young to understand,” or silly and inexperienced.

However, when adults want to share their opinions with teenagers, they feel they have a right to because they “know more” and understand the world better.

Sometimes adults just need to listen, really listen, to the ideas and opinions of teenagers. It’s okay to not agree or to have different ideas, but we value our teens when we just listen to understand their perspective.


Here are a few tips:

Be Curious – invite a teenager’s opinion into an “adult” conversation. Show your interest in their thoughts and ideas.

Seek Clarity– ask questions about things teens are sharing. Get clarity and a deeper understanding by asking for more information. “Tell me more about that.” This gives them a stronger sense of being the expert of their thoughts and ideas.

Be Caring- you don’t have to care about all the same things as a teenager, but when you show up, listen, and are curious, you show you care about them.

Contain your own opinions unless they are asked for. This is hard for adults because we know a lot. However, teens are more receptive to listening when they have invited you into their conversation. “If I don’t ask, please don’t share!” If you feel a strong need to share your opinion or ideas, ask first. “Can I tell you what I think about that?” If they say no, honor that. If they say yes, share your opinion in a way that isn’t condescending, or demanding.


This relational wisdom will hopefully help to build better connections between teens and adults.


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